Pumpkins have a particular connection for me with Southend Soup.

I first met Kamil of Southend in Transition Community Allotment at the first Soup when he used a pumpkin as a prop to pitch for funds for the allotment.

Kamil and pumpkin

I am pleased to say SITCOMMA won and I joined up with them.

The pumpkin used in the soup at the Soup was grown on the allotment, as well as some of the other ingredients.

Recipe

Take one large pumpkin, cut into chunks (unpeeled) and roast in the oven until soft.

Drain the juices for use in the soup. Scoop out the flesh and put aside.

Chop up a couple of large onions, bunch of celery and some carrots (as many as you have).

Heat about 3tbsps oil in a large pot and fry or “sweat” these on a low heat with the lid on.

Add about 6 cloves of garlic (or more) and a chilli, chopped well.

I must confess I usually chuck everything in my food processor if doing a large Soup amount.

Then add some chopped potatoes, water (as much as you think) a few vegetable stock cubes, salt and pepper, ground cumin and coriander (about 2 tsps for a large pot) and cayenne pepper if wanted, keep tasting to see if you need to add more seasoning.

Add the roast pumpkin and juices and cook until all soft.

Blend with a hand blender until smooth of leave in chunks if you want.

Add extra ingredients as they arrive. (People bring ingredients to the soup event.)

Serve with bread and love.

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