Last year our Halloween celebrations turned into a (admittedly minor) tragedy when our pumpkin was stolen and later smashed by the notorious West London Five-a-Day gang. This year we left nothing to chance and our carved pumpkin was an entirely private affair, sitting plump on our kitchen table. This had its drawbacks. There wasn't really enough space for the four of us to sit and eat but at least we knew Pumpernickel jnr was safe.
We lured him into a false sense of security before striking. I scraped out his innards and roasted them with a little olive oil and then turned them into soup and then pumpkin pie. Despite this vicious attack he still sat with a fixed grin on our table as we enjoyed our roasted pumpkin and apple soup. A spare portion has been frozen to make the next credit crunch lunch soup and will be taken into school in a new flask. (Cost approximately 20p per serving)
Roasted Pumpkin and Apple Soup
500g roasted pumpkin flesh
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 medium onions finely chopped
2 tablespoons of rape seed oil (or olive oil)
2 medium cooking apples, peeled cored and diced
1 roasted garlic bulb ( roast at same time as pumpkin flesh)
1 and a quarter pints (750 ml) of chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to season
Roast the pumpkin flesh by scraping out the flesh in large chunks and laying it in a baking tray, season with salt and pepper and mix round with a teaspoon of smoked paprika. Roast in the oven at 180 for about 35 to 40 minutes. Wrap whole garlic bulb in foil with a little oil drizzled on top and roast at the same time.
In a small frying pan, gently saute the chopped onions and apple together until both are soft.
Puree roast pumpkin, add squeezed out roast garlic. Add onion and apple and stock and puree with a hand held blender or in a food processor. Cook in a large pan over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Serve with warm bread and a dollop of creme fraiche.