I got back from an amazing and restful holiday in Thailand a few days ago and after the longest journey home, it was fair to say that I was utterly unprepared for the bitterly cold weather that was waiting for me. After spending two weeks in the sun stuffing my face with the most delicious rice and noodle dishes for breakfast lunch and dinner, I really craved some soup. Just a big hearty bowl of something to warm me up. There was a lonely looking pumpkin hanging around on the kitchen counter, crying out to be put to use after failing to make the cut for Halloween carving. I decided to put it out of it's misery and came up with a quick and easy dinner of pumpkin and chorizo soup. Adding the chorizo really elevated this humble dish, bringing about a welcome spiciness and depth of flavour.
Not being one to waste food, I also roasted the pumpkin seeds with some sea salt, olive oil and a bit of chili. They added the perfect level of crunch when sprinkled on the soup but they're also great for a quick and healthy snack.
In keeping with the chorizo theme, I also added it to some fougasse. A fougasse is one those breads that can be jazzed up in infinite ways. It's such a simple bread to make but looks quite fancy and tastes absolutely beautiful. The perfect accompaniment to tear and dunk into my comfort soup.
R E C I P E
1 Medium Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
120g Chorizo, plus extra to serve
700ml Chicken Stock
450g Pumpkin, roughly chopped
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp Dried Chilli Flakes or Cayenne Pepper
M E T H O D
Finely chop the onions, garlic and chorizo and add to a saucepan with a little olive oil.
Fry until onions are softened.
Pour in the chicken stock and then add in the chopped pumpkin.
Season with salt, pepper, thyme, paprika and chilli if using.
Cover and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the pumpkin has softened. Transfer the contents to a blender and process until smooth.
Pour the soup back into the saucepan and cook on a low heat for a further 5 minutes.
Stir in the nutmeg and serve with some extra chorizo, cream or Greek yoghurt.
For the roasted pumpkin seeds, rinse the seeds in some water and pat dry.
Place them on a baking tray and sprinkle over some sea salt, black pepper and chilli flakes.
Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven Gas Mark 4/180C/350F for 15-20 minutes until they're crisp and golden.