Pumpkin soup with parmesan straws
The Gooseberry Gardens are crammed with Cucurbits at this time of year, and we’re harnessing the harvest by creating a comforting pumpkin soup. Best enjoyed in your cosiest attire, preferably beside a roaring fire.
For the soup
500g pumpkin, peeled and roughly chopped
Two cloves of garlic, crushed
Two shallots, chopped
250ml chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
25g parmesan, grated
A handful of chopped parsley
Good extra virgin olive oil
For the straws
One sheet of puff pastry
100g parmesan, grated
1. A few hours before you want to serve the soup, get started on the straws. Roll the puff pastry thinly and cut into two sheets, roughly 10cm by 20cmin dimension. Sprinkle one of the sheets with half of the parmesan and the other with a little water.
2. Place this sheet on top of the parmesan sheet, damp side downwards. Now sprinkle this pastry sandwich with a little water and the rest of the parmesan plus a little cayenne pepper to taste. Put it on a small board or tray and freeze for a few hours.
3. To make the soup, sweat the shallots and the garlic in large saucepan until softened, then add the pumpkin and salt, and cook over a fairly high heat for five minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil and then turn down the heat. Simmer for ten minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft, then blitz in a blender.
4. Rinse the saucepan and return the soup to it. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees C/gas mark two. Take the puff pastry sandwich from the freezer and let it thaw a little. When it has thawed just enough, slice the puff pastry from into thick sticks. Place them on a non-stick baking tray and bake at 150 degrees for 15 minutes, until lightly coloured.
6. Reheat the soup and sprinkle with parmesan and parsley. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.