Is this Summer?

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February 20, 2014 by abbey's kitchen

Where is the sunshine? It has been a disappointment so far that is for sure. So what I have been eating for lunch this Summer has definitely reflected the lack of sunny weather. I have found myself craving warming bowls or soup instead of salads and light meals that I would usually want to eat at this time of year.

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I also noticed that my herb garden is quickly disappearing on me. My little plants are all turning to seed. The upside to this though is that my thyme, oregano and parsley has sprouted some pretty little flowers. So I am trying to use up my herbs before they are gone completely and I have to start my garden from scratch.

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I have never made roast pumpkin soup before. I always just boil up some pumpkin in some stock and then blitz it up and add a few other flavours. So today I decided to take the time to roast some butternut squash with some cloves of garlic, toasted ground fennel seeds and the oregano from the garden and see the difference. And what a difference! the pumpkin was soft and had a smokey flavour to it. I also added some chickpeas to the roasting pan about halfway through.

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This soup was delicious. And when the weather gets even more miserable over the next few months as we head into Winter, I know it will become a regular recipe of mine.

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Roast Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Chickpeas

1 Butternut Pumpkin
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 can chickpeas, drained and patted dry
2 cloves garlic
3 sprigs fresh oregano
Ground salt and pepper
Vegetable stock

Pre-heat oven to 160.
In a pan toast the fennel seeds and grind half in a mortar & pestle. Set the other half aside.
Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds
Place the pumpkin on a roasting tray and drizzle over the oil, scatter over the ground fennel seeds, the oregano sprigs and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast for 30 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and toss to coat with the oil in the pan. Roast for a further 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is golden and cooked and the chickpeas are browned and crispy.
Scoop the pumpkin from the skin and place in a blender or food processor. Squeeze the garlic from their skins. Add some Vegetable stock ½ a cup at a time until you have a smooth soup consistency.
Transfer the soup to a saucepan and heat over a moderate heat until warmed though.
Serve the soup with the remaining toasted fennel seeds, a handful of crispy chickpeas and a few chopped oregano leaves on top.

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