Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup

This is one of my favourite soups: sweet, smooth, soothing and golden-perfect for cold weather. Pumpkins are always orange-fleshed; sweet potatoes are exasperatingly not. Scrape off a bit of the skin when buying them to make sure you get the orange-fleshed kind.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions
  • 50 g/2 oz butter
  • 1.1 kg/ lb pumpkin
  • 450 g/1 lb sweet potatoes
  • 5 cm/2 in piece fresh ginger
  • 2 rounded teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1.8 litres/3 pints chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons clear honey
  • 300 ml/½ pint double cream
  • ¼ nutmeg, grated
  • 2 handfuls fresh coriander or parsley
  • salt
  • black pepper

Method

Peel and slice the onions. Melt the butter over a medium heat in a large, heavy-based saucepan, add the onions and fry until golden brown. Remove from the heat.

Cut the skin off the pumpkin, scrape away any seeds and the stringy part and cut the flesh up roughly. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into smallish cubes. Peel the ginger and chop roughly. Add the pumpkin and sweet potatoes to the onions in the saucepan together with the ginger, caraway seeds and chicken stock. Sprinkle with salt, bring to the boil, then cover the pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the pumpkin and sweet potatoes are very soft.

Purée the mixture in batches in a food processor, putting the purée into a clean saucepan. Add the honey, cream and nutmeg, bring to the boil again and bubble for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and season if necessary. Chop the coriander or parsley leaves roughly, stir into the soup and serve.

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