Halloween Pumpkin Soup with Lemongrass and Chilli

 

It’s getting cooler, I’m sure that you can you feel it? It’s time for Mother Nature to prepare to hibernate. There is only enough time to jar the last of the pickles, and cook the last batch of jam before winter sets in.

October boasts a bumper crop of seasonal ingredients, from beautifully sweet figs and crisp apples to earthy wild mushrooms.

Pumpkins tend to hog the limelight now, but don’t forget less showy seasonal fare, like cranberries, shallots and of course squash.

For me autumn is the cue to dust off the casserole dishes; hearty food is the order of the day!

 

 

Fruits of the forest

 

In autumn, British hedgerows are teeming with wild fruit and those most auspicious of modern day hunter-gatherers types – the British foraging eccentric. Rustling rosehips, bludgeoning blackberries and sneaking in the sloes, approach with extreme caution!

 

At it’s best during October…

 

Apples, Beetroot, Fresh Borlotti Beans, Black Cabbage, Butternut Squash, Curley Kale, Chestnuts, Chard, Cabbages, Cardoons, Celeriac, Fennel, Figs, Kohlrabi, Onions, Parsnips, Plums, Pears, Pumpkins and Squashes, Quinces, Red Kale, Salsify, Spinach, Sweetcorn, Swiss Chard, Swede, Turnips, Thyme, Watercress.

 

Wild Foods for October…

 

Bullace, Crab Apples, Elderberries, Hawthorn Berries, Horseradish, Nettles, Sea Aster, Sloes, Sea Beet, Sea Purslane, Rosehips, Wild Mushrooms, Wet Walnuts.

 

Creamy Halloween Pumpkin Soup with Lemongrass and Chilli

 

A healthy and warming vegetarian soup with chilli to give it a little extra kick in flavour. Plus it’s great for beating colds and fat-burning.
Serves 4
Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 25 mins

 

Ingredients

 

• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 to 3 fat red chillies diced. I like it hot, so I keep the seeds of the chillis in.
• 2 lemongrass stalks, very finely chopped
• 500ml bouillion powder
• 5 carrots, chopped
• 2 sticks celery chopped
• 1000g pumpkin (or butternut squash) chopped
• 200ml full fat coconut milk

 

Preparation

 

1. In a large non-stick pan gently cook the onion, chillies and lemongrass in 3 to 4 tablespoons of the broth for 5 minutes to soften.
2. Add the pumpkin and carrot and cook for a further 8 minutes before adding the remaining vegetable broth and coconut milk.
3. Bring to the boil, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes or until very tender. Blend until smooth and garnish with chillies to serve.

For more tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle, check out my new book, which is available on Amazon, and all leading bookstores, including Waterstones and Borders.

‘Mind Body Cleanse’ by Chris James (Penguin Vermilion, £14.99). Available from here: https://www.chrisjamesmindbody.com/product/mind-body-cleanse-by-chris-james/https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mind-Body-Cleanse-Plan-Re-Energise/dp/1785040804

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