I find the process of hollowing out a pumpkin quite tedious, so the last thing I want to be doing afterwards is chopping other vegetables to go in a soup that will just be blended anyway. Take the pressure off and keep this super simple (and cheap!) by using a frozen vegetable mix of carrots, onion, and celery. By using ham stock your tapping into the bacon / pumpkin squash classic flavour combo but saving pennies & calories too by not using any actual meat. This recipe showcases how simplicity really can bring out the best in flavours.

Serves 4 (can be frozen)

Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins

Starter / Inexpensive / Quick & Easy / Antioxidant Rich

PUMPKIN – 100g of flesh is only 26 calories. Pumpkin is also recommended by dieticians in cholesterol management and for weight loss programs. Also in 100g of pumpkin flesh comes around 246% of your recommended intake of vitamin A. Pumpkins, like carrots contain carotenes and anti-oxidants that help promote good eye sight. B-complex vitamins are also abundant in the pumpkin; folate, niacin, B-6, B-5.

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Ingredients.
450-500g pumpkin flesh (save the seeds and roast them for 10-15 minutes, lovely!)
250g frozen vegetables (carrot, onion, celery)
1000ml hot water
2 ham stock cubes
1 birds eye chilli

Method.
1. Heat a large saucepan and place the frozen vegetables in for 5 mins to defrost and soften.
2. Add the pumpkin, chilli, hot water, and stock cubes and bring to the boil.
3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
4. Take off the heat and use a hand blender to blend until smooth.
5. Serve with freshly grated nutmeg, smoked paprika and some pumpkin seeds scattered on top.