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How to make pumpkin soup

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Pumpkin soup is silky, creamy and very warming and what better way to use up your leftover pumpkin from your carved Halloween lantern, imagine drinking a big mug of this around the bonfire, this will serve 8 adults
What you'll need: 
4 pounds of chopped pumpkin flesh (as bigger pieces as possible
olive oil
2 onions finely chopped
200g soft cream cheese
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
a teaspoon of dried thyme
couple of bayleaves
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
small glass of sherry or brandy
1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius, place all the pumpkin in a big deep oven tray, coat with a small amount of olive oil, add in a big cup of water and roast for 1 to 1.5 hours until the pumpkin is deep brown (but not burnt) and very very soft
Meanwhile in a high sided heavy bottomed saucepan gently brown the onions, garlic and thyme in a little more olive oil, when soft and lightly brown add the bayleaves, a teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg, and the cooked pumpkin. Stir all together for 2-3 minutes.
Now turn up the heat, add the brandy or sherry and cook until almost all the alcohol has evaporated. Now add the stock, bring to a simmer, season to taste with salt and pepper and continue to simmer for 20 minutes or so, stirring often to make sure it doesn't burn.
Remove from the heat, find the bayleaves and remove them, add the cream and the cheese, blend using a liquidiser or a hand blender, bring back to the boil and then and serve!
if you can make this soup a day or two before you need it and keep in the fridge for the flavours to develop
add bacon lardons and croutons for a heartier meal


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