Iron Bark Pumpkin and Chestnut Soup, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

08 December 2010
Iron Bark Pumpkin and Chestnut Soup, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

For the Iron Bark Pumpkin and Chestnut Soup

ingredients
(Serves 6-8)
1kg ripe iron bark pumpkin, peeled weight, diced, seeds removed
100g unsalted butter
1tbs ras-el-hanout
200ml dry white wine
1.2l white chicken stock or vegetable stock
Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
80g Parmesan, grated
100g fresh chestnuts, roasted and peeled

Method

Heat a large saucepan and melt the butter. Add the diced pumpkin to the melted butter with the ras-el-hanout and a small amount of salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Cook until the pumpkin starts to soften - this should take about five minutes. As soon as the pumpkin starts to colour, deglaze the pan with the wine, cook until the wine is absorbed, add the stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the soup for 20 minutes. Add the cheese and half of the chestnuts to the soup and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Blend the soup until very smooth. Pass it through a sieve, taste and adjust the seasoning and thickness if needed.


For the Candied Pumpkin Seeds

ingredients
Seeds from the pumpkin
1tsp ras-el-hanout
½tsp sumac
1tbs olive oil
Maldon sea salt
1tbs dark brown sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Wash the pumpkin seeds and remove as much of the membrane as possible. Mix the seeds with the rest of the ingredients, season with the salt and spread on a baking tray. Roast the seeds in the oven for five minutes, stir and continue for five minutes each time until the seeds are golden. Let the seeds cool completely; once cold they will crisp.

To Serve

Serve the soup with a few drops of pumpkin oil, the candied pumpkin seeds, a sprinkle of sumac and use a microplane to grate the remaining roasted chestnuts over the soup.

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