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Our aim is to share with you our favourite meals and the little tricks and tips we have learnt along the way.
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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Smoked Paprika Pumpkin Soup

Brisbane Winter is a fleeting season, so I enjoy making as many hearty soups as possible. Pumpkin is so versatile and a few herbs and spices completely transform this wonderful vegetable so you can easily serve up a different pumpkin soup every week.  This is my version of a recipe from "Gourmet Traveller" magazine.  The fresh apple cube sprinkles are a zingy optional extra.  PS any leftovers are great to freeze. Cheers!
Smoked Paprika Pumpkin Soup by Feed Your Inner Cook
Preparation   15 minutes 
Cooking         Roasting  40 minutes.   Simmering and stirring etc :  40 minutes

3 kg  pumpkin (butternut, jap, kent etc) – peeled and roughly chopped into 8cm chunks

(TIPS and HINTS:  if you pop the unpeeled pumpkin in the microwave for a minute at a time - it will soften the skin slightly and be easier to peel)

1 – 2 sweet potatoes – peeled and chopped roughly into 5cm pieces
1 teaspoon each of   Smoked paprika,    Ground Cumin,   Ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Dried Chilli flakes (optional – to your taste)
1 lime (or 1 lemon) grated zest  plus the juice for later
Olive Oil
2 heads of garlic, intact - slice off the top slightly to expose the tips of cloves
2 Red Onions – sliced
4 Bay Leaves
1 ½ litres (6 cups) Salt reduced Chicken Stock
Kettle of boiling water to thin out if needed at the end
1 tablespoon Sherry Vinegar

1 small Granny Smith Apple  (or ½ Granny Smith and ½ small Pink Lady apple) – peeled. Finely diced then stirred through with a splash of the lemon juice (or lime juice).  Will prevent discolouration.  Used for garnish later. 
2 tablespoon Pepita seeds  - toasted.  For final sprinkle.

Salt and pepper to taste – if needed
¼ cup chopped Italian Parsley

Preheat oven to 200 ˚ C.
In a large bowl toss the pumpkin and sweet potato chunks with a little oil and the paprika, cumin, coriander and zest. 
Use a little of this oil over the garlic heads then wrap garlic in alfoil loosely.
Spread onto 2 large oven trays. Add the wrapped garlic to tray. Roast for approx.30 - 40 minutes until gold and tender.  Turn occasionally until golden.

Use a very large deep saucepan. 
(TIPS and HINTS:  You will be using a Stick Blender later so it is easier to just use 1 pot for both cooking and blending)

Heat a little oil. Add the onions and stir until softened.  Approx 4- 5 mins.
Squeeze the garlic from the skins and add the roasted garlic purée to the onions.
Add the cooked pumpkin, sweet potato and the stock, chilli and bay leaves.
Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes
IMPORTANT:  Remove the 4 bay leaves before blending.
Use a stick blender to purée the soup. 
If it is too thick, add some of the boiling water, blend again then check and add a little more as needed.  You are after a thick hearty soup.
When you are happy with the consistency, stir through the tablespoon Sherry Vinegar and tablespoon Lime (or lemon) juice.
Taste.  Add extra pepper or salt if you feel your soup needs it.  Add a dash more juice if you want.

Serve into warmed soup bowls.
Top with the drained apple cubes and seeds. Sprinkle over a little chopped parsley.

Enjoy!  Colleen

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