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RECIPE / PUMPKIN SOUP Comforting, rich and earthy As a young Chef, I had to make 2 – 3 different soups per day for 2 years, which really taught me a love for soups. It is also the best training for being a saucier later on in my career. PUMPKIN SOUP with blue cheese, mascarpone and chives Whole pumpkin peeled, deseeded and chopped into 3cm dice. 1/2 bulb of garlic 1 1 TIPS: This recipe is a traditional version, for a slower potentially stronger flavour, roast pumpkin whole in oven for 1 hour. 400g The recipe, and especially the garish, is just a guide. In the past I have maple roasted the pumpkin first, manuka smoked it, spiced with curry or cajun. 200g It’s your choice, time and ingredient dependant. This is a basic recipe which you can adapt. White wine splash METHOD On a stove at a medium heat, place a heavy bottomed pot – add the butter, then the mirepoix, bacon and garlic, cook for 5 minutes. Chicken stock 1 ltr peeled and chopped Mirepoix medium chopped (refer to shanks recipe) Bacon chopped (optional if vegetarian) (optional can use veg stock or water) boiling Cream 250ml Flour 1/4 cup Bouquet garni (BG) 1 (1 bayleaf, 20g thyme, 2 parsley stalks) Butter 50g Salt and Pepper (S&P) To taste Mascarpone 4 tsp for garnish Blue cheese for garnish Chopped chives for garnish (other herbs like parsley, tarragon, basil work) 50g 10g Then add pumpkin and continue cooking. Add a pinch of S&P. Once you begin developing some colour add flour and mix well, cook for 2 minutes. Deglaze with wine, reduce to nothing then add stock and BG, bring to the boil. When boiling, turn. Add the cream and turn off. If you don’t like chunky, blend with a stick blender or food processor and pass through a sieve. For those of you who don’t, blend with a stick blender or processor and pass through a sieve. TO SERVE Heat up what amount you like, pour into heated bowls and garnish with mascarpone, crumbled blue cheese and chopped chives. For a stronger blue cheese flavour double the amount and blend in half. Comfort in a bowl! Recipe by Justin Rimmer 4 COMFORT FOOD