approx 1 kg/2lb 4oz pumpkin;
40g or 1.5 oz butter or margarine;
1 thinly sliced onion;
1 crushed garlic clove;
900 ml or 1 pint of vegetable stock;
salt and pepper;
1/2 tsp ground ginger;
1 tbsp lemon juice;
3-4 thinly pared strips of orange rind;
1-2 bay leaves or 1 bouquet garni;
300 ml or 1.5 pints milk
TO GARNISH: 4-6 tbsp single or double cream, natural yogurt or fromage frais; snipped fresh chives
1. Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds and then cut the flesh into 2.5 cm or 1 inch cubes. 2. Melt the butter or margarine in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and fry over a low heat until soft but not coloured.
3. Add the pumpkin and toss with the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the stock and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the ground ginger and lemon juice, the strips of orange rind, if using, and the bay leaves or bouquet garni.
5. Cover the pan and gently simmer the soup over a low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin is tender.
6. Discard the orange rind, if using, and the bay leaves or bouquet garni. Cool the soup slightly, then press through a sieve with the back of a spoon, or place in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour into a clean saucepan.
7. Add the milk and reheat gently. Adjust the seasoning. Garnish with a swirl of cream, natural yogurt or fromage frais and snipped chives, and serve.