Use the glut of pumpkins to make this delicious soup. Cook it in big batches to freeze, and serve dressed with candied shallot, pumpkin seeds and creme fraiche.
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Meanwhile, melt the butter with oil in a large, heavy based saucepan.
5. Add the shallots, pumpkin and red chilli, season with sea salt and black pepper and sweat the vegetables for 5-10 minutes without browning.
6. Add the garlic and thyme and cook on a low heat for a further minute.
7. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
8. Add in the red peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. Place a spoonful of low fat crème fraiche in each and sprinkle with the chives, toasted pumpkin seeds and candied shallots.