Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions , finely chopped
1kg pumpkin or squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks
700ml vegetable stock or chicken stock
150ml double cream

For the croutons
2 tbsp olive oil
4 slices wholemeal seeded bread, crusts removed
handful pumpkin seeds

Method
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan, then gently cook 2 finely chopped onions for 5 mins, until soft but not coloured.

Add 1kg pumpkin or squash, cut into chunks, to the pan, then carry on cooking for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally until it starts to soften and turn golden.

Pour 700ml vegetable or chicken stock into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins until the squash is very soft.

Pour 150ml double cream into the pan, bring back to the boil, then purée with a hand blender. For an extra-velvety consistency you can pour the soup through a fine sieve. The soup can now be frozen for up to 2 months.

To make the croutons: cut 4 slices wholemeal seeded bread into small squares.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, then fry the bread until it starts to become crisp.

Add a handful of pumpkin seeds to the pan, then cook for a few mins more until they are toasted. These can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container.

Reheat the soup if needed, taste for seasoning, then serve scattered with croutons and seeds and drizzled with more olive oil, if you want.

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