One of the things I look forward to at this time of year is pumpkin soup!
I even save all the insides of the Halloween pumpkin I scoop out before carving it as I can't bear to let an opportunity for soup to pass by ...
This is a Valentine Warner recipe - although the sherry is optional, if you have any knocking around it is worth trying as it gets the soup an extra lift!
You will need: 1 x 4kg pumpkin, 125g butter, 2 finely chopped medium onions, 1 cinnamon stick, freshly grated nutmeg, 1.7 litres chicken or vegetable stock, 3 tablespoons sherry.
Remove and discard the seeds and fibres from the middle of the pumpkin: remove the flesh and roughly chop it. Melt the butter in a large pan over a low heat and add the onions. Cook gently for around 15 minutes until softened and golden-brown. Add the pumpkin flesh, cinnamon and nutmeg, season to taste: increase the heat slightly to medium, and cover with a lid. Cook for around 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until pumpkin is cooked through. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor in batches and blend until smooth. Return to a clean pan, bring to a low simmer and cook for a further 30 minutes. Before serving, stir in the sherry if you are using it. Enjoy!
If you are expecting any trick or treaters tonight, make sure you keep your dog safely shut in another room before answering the door - and check that all garden gates have been properly shut once they have all gone. It's a good idea to walk your dog early as well, and a little later than usual in the evening as meeting gangs of trick-or-treaters in spooky costumes may be a little unnerving for some dogs.