Pumpkin And Haricot Soup
This is the perfect dish for a Halloween or Bonfire Night party. It can all be made in advance and reheated just before serving with great chunks of warm, crusty, coarse wholemeal bread.
As the chill of autumn heralds the cold and flu season, this soup will help boost resistance for the whole family.
Serves four to six
1 medium pumpkin
2 large onions, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 tbs rapeseed (canola) oil
1.2 litres / 2 pints vegetable stock, preferably home-made
1 x 410g can haricot beans, drained and rinsed
4 large sage leaves
300ml/ half a pint Total 0% fat Greek yoghurt.
6 chive flower heads (optional, but pretty)
Cut off the top quarter of the pumpkin – if really large you will find this much easier with a saw, but do clean it well first!
Remove and save the seeds; scoop out the pumpkin flesh, keeping the pumpkin shell intact.
Sauté the onions and garlic with the oil in a large saucepan until soft but not browned. Add the pumpkin flesh and stir until golden – about two minutes.
Pour in the stock; add the haricot beans and sage leaves.
Bring to a boil and simmer until soft – about 20 minutes.
Liquidise in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour in the yoghurt.
Serve in the reserved pumpkin shell with the chive flowers floating on top and the lid replaced to keep in the heat.
Wash the pumpkin seeds thoroughly in a sieve, making sure you remove all the stringy bits of the flesh. Dry on sheets of kitchen paper, then spread thinly on a baking sheet and put into a low oven for an hour or two – until they are completely dry.
Store in an air-tight container. Eat as they are or dry fry in a pan to toast a golden brown.
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