Pumpkin Soup, Egg and Chorizo

There is something about the velvety sweetness of this pumpkin soup that really sets off the spicy chorizo and soft poached egg.  It becomes a complete supper dish rather than just a delicious warming soup.  If you swap the toppings the soup can be used as a base for vegans and vegetarians.  Try adding  some tofu pieces fried with paprika and oil on top for vegans or for vegetarians poached egg sprinkled with a cloud of paprika over the top    It really is a perfect dish for when you have a group that has different dietary needs!

 

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I have to confess to loving soup and often have it for lunch. At this time of year I make a lot of this particular soup though for lunch I don’t normall bother with the poached egg unless I am ravenous   The swirl of the paprika oil from the chorizo against the burnt orange of the soup is like a piece of art

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If you have never been too sure of pumpkins let me put your mind at rest and steer you away from the big jack-o-lanterns that we carve for Halloween which have little flavour to the soft embrace of my favourite crown prince or any of the other culinary varieties you can find.  The pumpkin family includes squash but not just butternut but acorn or onion squash. All work well here.

You can make this soup with vegetarian or chicken stock and a stock cube is just as good as fresh stock here  what you are aiming for is to cover the softened pumpkin cubes by about an inch

You can make the poached eggs up to 24 hrs in advance and this is a great technique to know as it makes things so much easier and not just for this recipe either – imagine how much simpler it would make eggs benedict if you wanted to do a special breakfast if the poached eggs just needed warming up!

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

For the soup

  • 1 kg pumpkin or squash (half a crown prince pumpkin or a large butternut squash, peeled seeded and cubed)
  • 3 tbsp oil (or butter and oil mixed)
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
  • 1pt To 1.5pts stock, chicken or vegetable stocK

For the garnishes

  • 100g chorizo, spicy works best here
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 4 eggs, as fresh as possible
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar

Method

  1. Put a large pan over a low heat with the oil and add onions.  Cook for 10-15 mins until onions are soft
  2. Cut the pumpkin or squash in half and remove the seeds and stringy centre. You can wash seeds off and roast them if you are feeling thrifty. They make a great additional garnish. I have to admit that I am usually too lazy to so this
  3. Add pumpkin to pan and coat in the onion mix.  Season and tuck in cinnamon stick. Put on pan lid and allow to sweat for 30 mins, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking
  4. Cover pumpkin with stock by about an inch and replace lid.   Cook out for a further 20 mins (this is a good time to poach the eggs, see points 6-7
  5. Blend the contents of pan adding more liquid if necessary, until you have a thick, velvety soup. Put to one side until ready to serve or freeze it if you are just getting ahead.
  6. To poach the eggs in advance put on a medium saucepan filled with water and a pinch of salt.   Heat till water is just simmering and add the vinegar.  DO NOT let the water boil.   Break egg into a cup.   Stir water in pan rapidly until a whirlpool effect is created.  Put the egg into centre as gently as possible.   Remove pan from heat. Cook for 4 mins before using slotted spoon to transfer egg to bowl of cold water.   This will halt the cooking process and ensure a soft yolked egg
  7. Return pan of water to heat, raise temp to a simmer, stir water again and add another egg. There is no need to add more vinegar. Keep repeating process until all eggs are cooked. They will keep for 24hrs like this.
  8. To serve If garnishing with chorizo, peel and dice into small cubes. Add oil to a small pan, heat and add chorizo frying until crispy. The paprika will leach out from chorizo and colour the oil
  9. Fill a pan with water and heat to a simmer. Reheat soup. Divide soup into serving bowls. Garnish with chorizo and it’s oil.  Gently transfer poached  eggs into pan of simmering water and reheat for a minute.  Remove from pan and put on top of soup.

Listening to:

http://mixing.io/playlist/apple-music-classical-year-of-wonder-november  This is the latest Year of Wonder playlist for November.  You may remember my posting about the fact that these playlists aim to give you a different piece of classical music for everyday of the year and it has wonderful relaxing yet eye opening choices.  Try it – it’s free to download

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