It's Halloween and that can only mean two things... The first is joyless people moaning "Oh, it's such an American thing' they say, but guess what? So are men on the moon, Breaking Bad, Tom and Jerry and serial killers, and all of those are brilliant things. The second thing is the humble pumpkin.
Now I have been quite vocal in the past about how people seem to cram pumpkins into everything (cynically one would think just to get more hits on their blogs...) like pumpkin spiced lattes, caramel pumpkin cheesecake dog biscuits and so on. But in the spirit of evil, I shall join this club with a soup that is perfect for eating on a cold October night whilst watching Peter Cushing do his stuff in The Satanic Rights of Dracula.
It uses quince as an ingredient, mainly because when we moved into the new Soup HQ, we inherited a quince bush, made some jelly and loved it, which got me thinking if I could use it in a soup. If you don't have access to a quince bush, lime juice would work perfectly well!
(Also, to get you in the Halloween mood, here's a zombie film I made. It's a bit gory
Now the darkness is upon us and the spirits prepare to fly, causing havoc and all manner or malingering, it falls upon me to impart the wisdom of how to prepare a soupe made of the flesh of that most devilish of all the vegetables that grow in the dirt of the grave - the pumpkin.
Be warned though, this is not the tame soupe but a devilish fiery concoction. No thin and watery gruel this, but a most unusual brew, made that much more strange by the addition of the fruit of the Quince bush, which imbues upon said soupe a sharpness such as a lime would also provide. However the soupe will not reach full efficacy unless the flesh of the quince is interred into it.
The sprinkling upon the top of the soupe of the toasted seeds of the pumpkin also imparts a delicious savoury note which is only matched by dry roasted eye of newt or other water borne creature...
Go ahead, make this soupe if ye dare...
1 Pumpkin (about 1kg of flesh)
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Red Chili
1tbsp Ginger Puree
1 Tin Tomatoes
1 Tin Coconut Milk
1.2l Vegetable Stock
30g Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Method for preparing the soupe
1. Murder the onion and cut that into small pieces. Show the onion no remorse, even if you cry. Do the same to the chili.
2. In a cauldron or other suitable piece of kitchenware - preferably cast iron and under a full moon - heat up some oil and then fry the onion's remains. Add the chili, ginger and some garlic to keep away vampires. Cook until dead but not burnt - maybe 5 minutes...
3. Add the coriander and cumin powders (or ground monkey paw if you have it) and then cook for a few more minutes.
4. Hack up the pumpkin like Michael Myers on Prom Night. Use a very sharp, pointy knife and slice the flesh, cutting away all the skin and tough bits. Then cut the remaining soft fleshy parts into unidentifiable pieces. Leave no incriminating evidence
5. Add the stock, pumpkin and tomatoes to the cauldron, salt the soup so nothing more shall grow there. Cook for 45 minutes and then remove from flame and torment. Allow to cool until cold as the grave.
6. Blend, mash, grind, flense or otherwise reduce the soup to the consistency and colour of freshly spilled blood.
7. Peel the skin from the very living flesh of the quinces and then chop them asunder (Be careful as the dastardly quince harbours much in the way of tricky gristly and tough bits. Be sure to remove these fully)
8. Add some water to another pot and bring to a goodly boil. Into this pot dispose of the Quince's flesh and render down to pulp or puree.
9. Add the resultant puree, plus the juice of one coconut to the soup and reheat to renew the agony.
10. Serve to hungry demons with a scattering of the pumpkin's own seeds upon it. Try not to choke upon the resultant mess