Pumpkin Soup in a camper van (without a whizzer)
1 pumpkin, medium
1 large onion, finely chopped
A large knob of butter
A pinch of chilli flakes (or half a real chilli, finely chopped)
1 beef stock cube
1 star anise
1 bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Fresh double cream
You will need: two large pans, a sieve and a masher.
First, make a stock. Dissolve the stock cube in about ¾ of a litre of water and add a clove of garlic, the bay leaf and the star anise. Simmer gently. Meanwhile, fry the chopped onion in the butter until soft. Add the chilli, one of the chopped cloves of garlic and a little seasoning. Next, scoop out the pumpkin flesh (discarding the seeds) and add it to the onions. Fry together for a couple of minutes, adding more butter if necessary. Stir. Now add the stock to the pan (fish out the bay leaf and star anise first). The pumpkin flesh should be covered (just) by the stock. If it isn’t, add a little water. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Next, sieve out the contents of the pan into the stock pan to remove all the liquid and place the pumpkin back in its original pan. Mash it as best you can and then sieve it again, pushing the liquid out of the pulp. Mash again until it is as fine as you want it. Next pour the liquid back into the pan with the pulp and stir together. Season to taste. Serve with a drop of cream, a few finely chopped chives and a few pinches of grated nutmeg.
From Martin Dorey http://www.martindorey.com/