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Halloween Recipe: Shallot, Pumpkin and Red Pepper Soup with Candied Shallot and Pumpkin Seeds served with Low Fat Crème Fraiche

29th October 2013

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Step away from the tins of Heinz... this yummy soup is healthy and perfect for Halloween.

Serves: 4  

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

You’ll need:

For the soup:

4 red peppers, deseeded and cut into quarters

30g butter

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

6 shallots, diced peeled

750g pumpkin, peeled and diced into 2 cm pieces

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

Leaves of one sprig of thyme

1.2 litre good vegetable stock

100ml double cream (optional)

Sea salt and black pepper

For the candied shallots:

250g unsalted butter

¼ tsp of cumin seeds

8 (250g) shallots, peeled and sliced

¼ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp paprika

1 tsp honey

To serve:

2 tsp chives, finely chopped

30g pumpkin seeds, toasted

120ml low fat crème fraiche

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

To make the soup:

Place the peppers skin side up, on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the skins are charred. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to cool.

Once cool, peel off the skins, and reserve the flesh.

Meanwhile, melt the butter with oil in a large, heavy based saucepan. Add the shallots, pumpkin and red chilli, season with sea salt and black pepper and sweat the vegetables for

5-10 minutes without browning.

Add the garlic and thyme and cook on a low heat for a further minute. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add in the red peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes.

For the candied shallots:

Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat, add the cumin seeds and shallots and fry until soft.

Add the ground cumin and paprika and cook the shallots for a further then 1 minute, stirring the shallot mixture all the time to prevent burning. Fry until caramelised for approx. 1-2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and season with sea salt and stir in the honey.

To finish and serve:

Blend the soup in a food processor or with a hand blender and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Return to the pan, if a little thick add more stock and if you wish, stir in the cream.

Gently reheat the soup and ladle into warmed bowls.

Place a spoonful of low fat crème fraiche in each and sprinkle with the chives, toasted pumpkin seeds and candied shallots.

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