All the leaves are brown & the Pumpkins are orange (and green and yellow and...)

They soon will be anyway, despite the seemingly endless sunny days we are enjoying.  The temperature is dropping, woolly jumpers are suddenly an attractive option again, soup is high on your want-for-lunch list, and baking feels like the right thing do, if only to get stand by a warm oven.

Here at Folk House the term is in full swing.  After a long quiet summer it's a great to have a buzz about the place again.  Come and warm your cockles with us and see what's cooking in the Folky kitchen.

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Autumn is pumpkin & squash frenzy time, they are so bountiful, beautiful and bonkers with their colour, weird shapes and sizes and their rich, earthy flavours.  We displayed some on our counter during Organic September and now we are cooking them! 

Easy Pumpkin Soup.

1.5kg pumpkin or fleshy squash
1 teaspoon dried chilli
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
1 stick of celery
1 litre hot vegetable stock

Peel, de-seed and cut up the pumpkin into chunks about the size of an apple quarter.  Peel and chop up the onion, and celery, into roughly similar sizes. Peel garlic cloves and leave whole. 

Put all the vegetables in a roasting tin with some good glugs of peppery olive oil, the chilli & cinnamon, salt & pepper and mix them all up until every bit is coated with the oily mix.  Roast in a medium oven for about half an hour or until all soft, golden and ready to squish.

Put half the veg in a blender with half the stock (yes, you can use a stock cube and also chicken stock can be really nice in this.  Home made stock is ALWAYS best, but cubes will do the job nicely if they are good ones), blend until really smooth & velvety, put into a saucepan and repeat with the other half.  It must be smooth, not grainy.

Check for seasoning and adjust if need be.  This is where the fun starts. You can add any number of delicious little items when you serve this, from a swirl of cream, to toasted pine nuts or roasted, crispy pumpkin skin. 

To crisp the peeled skins simply add them to a bowl with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt, mix well until coated and roast on a flat tray, in a high oven for about 10 minutes or until just browning at the edges.  They will get soggy quite quickly when served on the soup so keep them until the last minute.

You can also add some chopped parsley, or a little pinch of fresh thyme leaves, with a swirl of really good olive oil and some black pepper.  Or toasted almond slivers... the list goes on so have some fun experimenting and let us know what you come with!