Today I decided to break my blogging dry-spell by posting a recipe totally unique to me. Invented by me.
For me this is a milestone as I used to think it would never be possible for me to make food I loved without following a recipe step-by-step, 1/2 cup by 1/2 cup. Now I finally feel confident enough to try new things and know that even if they fail, I can use the lessons learned from that failure to make it go right the next time (don’t worry, I’m still talking about food here).
Today’s recipe is borne from me thinking something would be a great idea, doing a lot of research online and finding very few recipes, none of which I felt were quite right. Well, that and my wish to squeeze every moment of enjoyment out of Saturday’s not-really-that cold snap in Christchurch. You see, I’m a winter person. I am pale-skinned, have type O blood and overheat easily. This makes summer a nightmare of sunburn, mosquito bites and constant sweating. On the weekend I embraced the sort-of cold the best way I know how – doing my weekly groceries at the farmer’s market in the rain wearing a hooded knee length swanndri, lighting the fire, watching a movie in front of said fire with a cup of tea, cooking pumpkin soup for tea and chilli hot chocolate, strawberries and cream for dessert.
Whole roasted pumpkin soup
1 large pumpkin
1 onion, diced
1 granny smith apple, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf (from my own garden boo…yah)
enough vege (or chicken) stock to 3/4 fill the pumpkin
dash of cream
1 Tbsp goats cheese
4 sprigs thyme (also from my garden, just try to stop me!)
Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius
Chop the top off your pumpkin (enough that you can get your hand in but not enough for anything to spill out once it is full)
Scrape out the seeds and stringy bits inside
Fill with the onion, apple, butter, salt, garlic, bay leaf, stock and cream and rub the outside with vegetable oil
Bake for 1 hour, remove top (carefully!) and add goats cheese and thyme
Replace top and bake for another half hour or until the pumpkin is soft and roasted on the inside
Scoop out contents (again, carefully, we don’t want any steam burns here) into a pot and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. The one recipe I found said to blend it while still in the pumpkin and avoid the sides, go ahead with this if you are brave enough
Serve with whatever extras float your boat (I went with cheese, chilli, fresh basil and pepper)
If you feel like recreating my night head to toe, serve strawberries for dessert sprinkled with vanilla sugar and chopped mint, with cream poured over.
I always apologise for the lack of photos, but today I want to complain about the lack of photos. I had intentions of breaking my blogging-silence with beautiful, well thought out shots of pumpkin soup cooked inside the skin, bright red strawberries covered in vanilla sugar and cream and a copper kettle sitting on top of the fire boiling the water for my tea (best present ever). But my camera ran out of battery and I couldn’t find the charger. I am cranky about it and apologise (as usual). I urge you to use your imagination, it might even be better than the real thing. Doubt it though!
For full disclosure but at the risk of sounding like a total food snob and someone you want to immediately drag to the doctor for an artery check up, I included Fresh As freeze dried pineapple chunks in my dessert and had cream instead of milk in my hot chocolate. Judge me all you want!