- 1 eating pumpkin or large, round squash
- A generous lump of butter
- 1 onion
- Seeds from ½ vanilla pod
- A pinch of chilli powder
- A pinch of ground cinnamon
- 500ml dry cider
- A few mugs of warm vegetable stock
- Grated mature cheddar, to serve
Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 60 mins
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Chop the top off the pumpkin or squash. Scoop out the seeds, then scoop out the flesh using a strong spoon and knife. Set the pumpkin in a roasting tin. Finely chop the flesh and set aside. Peel and finely chop the onion.
2. Place a large pan over a medium heat. Add a generous chunk of butter and swirl till melted and foaming. Add onion and season with a pinch of salt. Pop a lid on the pan. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, till the onion looks soft and sweet. Fold the chopped pumpkin flesh in. Pop the lid back on. Let the pumpkin sweat down till it's soft, around 20-30 mins.
3. Remove the lid. Stir in the vanilla seeds with a pinch each of chilli powder and cinnamon. Cook and stir for 1-2 mins. Slowly stir in the cider. Add enough vegetable stock to get the soup to a double cream consistency. Purée the soup with a hand-held blender or ladle the soup into a blender and blitz until smooth. Taste and add a pinch more salt, if you think it needs it.
4. Pour the soup into the scooped-out pumpkin. Bake for 30 mins till the pumpkin is just tender and soup is bubbly. Add more stock, if the soup is too thick. Serve straight away, with crusty bread and butter and some grated cheddar to sprinkle on top.