Saturday, 18 December 2010

a warming pumpkin and cinnamon soup for a snowy day

Will this chilly weather ever end? Snow is falling in Paris again today and while it has turned the city into a winter wonderland (well at least until the rain chases the snow away) I am frozen right through to my bones.

It was on a similarly cold day a few weeks ago that I was in one of my favorite lunchtime spots in the 17th arrondisment of Paris, Bio 92 an organic restaurant. The restaurant is reasonably priced for Paris at €17 for a 3 course lunch - and the food is organic. The only drawback is that the service can sometimes be very slow. The menu changes daily - they do an excellent "cake" of aubergine filled with either quiona and vegetables or meat and vegetables, there is always at least one fish dish on offer. On this occasion there were two soups among the starters; carrot and coconut and pumpkin and cinnamon.

I plumped for the veloute of pumpkin and cinnamon and was not disappointed, it is a warm, sweet soup with the cinnamon accentuating the flavors. I have since tried it at home. The version below is more of a soup, but if you prefer you can add half the water to create a much thicker soup which is very creamy - without the need for cream or milk.

This is a really quick soup which will have you glowing again in no time at all, the addition of the cinnamon adds a Chrismassy touch.

You need:

one medium pumpkin or butternut squash
2 medium yellow onions
1 to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of light sesame oil
1 ltr hot water

Peal the pumpkin using a vegetable peeler and cut into 2 inch chunks, peel and roughly chop the onions. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and add onions and cinnamon, cook the onions on a low heat until they begin to caramelise. Next add the pumpkin or butternut squash, mixing well with the onions and fry for about 5 minutes. Then add water and bring to the boil before covering saucepan with a lid and simmering for about 15 minutes. After 15 mins test the pumpkin with a fork to see if cooked if so using a handblender blend the soup and serve immediately. Even more delicious served with either cornbread or onion muffins on the side.

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