700g peeled and diced pumpkin, or butternut squash
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
800–900ml vegetable stock
A squeeze of lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
80g soft goat’s cheese, to serve
Chopped flat leaf parsley, to serve
For the maple seed brittle
A little oil, for greasing
40g pumpkin seeds
2 tsp maple syrup
A pinch of cayenne pepper
A pinch of sea salt flakesMake the brittle first as it needs time to cool. Preheat the oven to 160C fan/325F/Gas 2–3 and grease a non-stick baking sheet with a little oil.
Put the pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the maple syrup and add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Mix everything together, then pour onto the prepared baking sheet. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the diced pumpkin on a large baking sheet and drizzle over two tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle over the cumin, cinnamon and paprika and add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir it all together so the pumpkin is well coated in the spices.
Once the seeds have had their 10 minutes and are turning golden and the syrup is hot and bubbling, remove them from the oven and immediately tip them onto a piece of non-stick baking parchment. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and leave to cool and set. Turn the oven up to 180C fan/ 350F/Gas 4 and put the
pumpkin in the oven. Roast for about 35–40 minutes, or until tender, stirring halfway through cooking.
Towards the end of the pumpkin cooking time, heat the last tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan set over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté gently for about eight minutes until the onion is well softened.
Add 800ml of the stock and bring the liquid up to the boil, then add the cooked pumpkin. Leave to simmer for five minutes or so, to be sure the onion is tender throughout, then transfer everything to a liquidiser and blitz until smooth. Add a little more stock and blend again if you feel the soup is a bit thick.
Return to the cleaned pan and season with a good squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, and reheat if necessary before serving.
Ladle the soup into bowls and crumble over a little goat’s cheese, followed by a little of the maple brittle. Finish with a good grind of black pepper and a sprinkle of parsley to serve.