Saturday, 29 October 2011

Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin and Orange Soup

This is one of the best soups I've had in a while. Make your day, make your week even and try this soup! It'll add sunshine and warmth, lustrous beard growth for all. Ok perhaps not the last one, but who knows?!
Simply take one pumpkin...

1 small pumpkin
4 small shallots
2 cloves of garlic
good lug of olive oil
ras el hanout
500ml vegetable stock
juice of 1 orange
sprinkle of salt

Add the olive oil to a roasting tin.Cut in a circle around the stem and lift off the "lid". Scoop out the seeds and stringy bit with a spoon and set the seeds aside for roasting later. Slice your pumpkin into segments and along with the shallots peeled and quartered and the garlic, sliced, add to the tin. Stir well to get everything covered in the oil. Roast in the oven at approx 200C for ten minutes.

Next for the ras el hanout. This is a mixture of spices that sellers in Morocco would have and it's usually a combination of the best in the shop. Every seller would have their own recipes and it could vary from a small number to over 100! For my ras el hanout, I used:

  • Cumin
  • Turmeric
  • Paprika
  • Nutmeg
  • Mixed spice
  • Cardamom seeds
  • Caraway seeds
  • Black mustard seeds
  • Cayenne pepper 
Put all into a pestle and mortar, approximately half a tsp of each, but you may like to vary it. Stir to combine all the spices and crush the spices into a powder. If you don't have a pestle and mortar, a bowl and the handle of a knife worked pretty well for me! This combination is warm and citrus-y and not too overpowering.

Add to the roasting pumpkin and stir well to ensure it is well coated. Return to the oven for another 20 minutes or until it starts to look golden.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a food processor, make sure add all of the juices from the roasting tin to capture all of the flavours. Add the vegetable stock, orange juice and salt and whizz away!

Save the seeds from the pumpkin, spread them evenly on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Sprinkle over a little salt and roast for 30 mins at 200C  

Serve topped with the pumpkin seeds.

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