Pumpkin and chestnut soup

Tags: pumpkin, soup, Christmas 2008
This smelt dreary all through its cooking, but the taste came out complex and interesting
. Serves 8. 12 steps
900g pumpkin flesh roughly chopped Place in an ovenproof pot, bring to boil on stove, cook in oven 2.5 hours or until vegetables are very soft. Cool. Purée and season to taste Reheat the soup, and serve it topped with a slice of chestnut butter
1 large Spanish onion roughly chop
4 cloves garlic peel
175g cooked chestnuts
1.4 litres vegetable stock
1 orange's juice
salt and pepper
Chestnut butter
25g chestnuts Dry-fry until golden; cool; chop finely Pound together; cover and chill until firm
1 orange's zest
50g butter softened
1 teaspoon red chilli deseed and finely chop
1 tablespoon chives finely chopped
The soup may be frozen
I was worried that the soup needed extra body, so I left it overnight with a square of kombu, and I served it with grated cheese.
If you use mushrooms in the vegetable stock, the soup will taste good but the colour will be unappealling.