This morning I paid a trip to see my friend and celebrated chef Jaori Loverduck and received something of a fright when he answered the door wearing a ludicrous green Halloween mask that covered his face and made him look quite zombified. On further inspection it seemed to be a facemask but when I put this to Jaori it turned out I was wrong again. It was in fact an avocado tureen that he had prepared and had left to set on his face. “It sets best on the face and soaks up flavoursome minerals that live in your spores. I’d offer you some but it’s not quite ready.”
I followed him through to his kitchen whilst he told me about what he had been cooking recently. “I’ve been using a lot of pumpkins,” he told me, “and I was actually about to make a pumpkin soup, I’ve had the oven pre-heating.” I told him that I would love to try his pumpkin soup and would also love to pass on his recipe. We struck a deal and here we are, Jaori Loverduck’s Pumpkin Soup:
“You will need to preheat the oven to about 200 degrees well in advance for this. Some folk prefer to turn their oven on as they slap the food in and add on some cooking time but for this recipe it won’t work and you’ll end up with a sloppy mess. So, you’ve got your oven on. Now you need to get a bowl and tip in some flour, salt, baking powder and, if you like, a little cinnamon and then give it a wee mix. Throw in oil, brown sugar and three eggs.
But wait, before you mix them in we need to get on with our pumpkin, the star of the show. They can be quite tough to dismantle so you will need a sharp knife and I find that just hacking away at it works quite well. You may find you get covered in airborne bits of pumpkin flesh but those can just be licked up, making the cooking process more fun. Now, pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes so I won’t tell you how much of it to use. Just use the amount that you are comfortable with. Chop the pumpkin into tiny, tiny chunks – you could grate it if you like but I prefer it to be in chunks. Throw them into your mixing bowl and add some of the seeds to, it’ll add a nice crunchiness to it. Mix it all up good and proper and then pour your mixture into a greased baking tin.
Pop your soup in the oven and leave it for about an hour and then bring it out and remove it from the tin onto a cooling rack. If you want to have your soup hot you can cut off a piece at this point or you can leave it until it’s cold, as I prefer. I find that it is much easier to eat than other soups which I find can be a little messy.”