Happy Halloween

As I was walking around the supermarket, picking up some ingredients, my eye was caught by a Halloween deal on pumpkins. Now, aside from the obvious appeal of a pumpkin at this time of year, my mind started buzzing with ideas for recipes!

In South America, root vegetables, such as pumpkin, carrots, beetroot and squash form a basis of many vegetarian dishes. In Peru in particular, we had a lot of soups and salads made up of these vegetables.

One dish that sprung to mind, was a creamy pumpkin soup that I had in a café in Cusco. Crema de zapallo is a popular creamy soup in Peru, slightly spicy, but full of flavour and colour. I bought the pumpkin, and got creative. Please note that this recipe was completely made up to my tastes. Feel free to add more spice if you fancy more zing!

Crema de Zapallo (serves 6-7)

  • 1 large pumpkin, flesh carved out
  • 2 Sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 litre chicken/vegetable stock
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp of cumin
  • Pinch of dried coriander
  • ¼ can of evaporated milk
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
Boil the pumpkin and sweet potato in the chicken stock until you are able to put a fork through the small chunks with ease. Once ready, leave to cool on the side. Meanwhile, lightly fry the onions and garlic in vegetable oil, until soft. Then blend the pumpkin/sweet potato together with the onions using a food processor or a hand-blender. Blend until thick and smooth. Bring soup back onto the hob at a low heat. Add the paprika, cumin, coriander and season well. After five minutes stir in some evaporated milk, and leave heat through. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later! (Serve with some crusty bread, or croutons for extra lavishness).

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