This soup that I found in Simon Hopkinson's book, The Vegetarian Option p. 40, is so spectacular that I'm sure I'll be making it over and over again. It's a crossover between a baked pumpkin and a pumpkin soup and also the look is so irresistible.
Hopkinson's version is called ”Pumpkin soup Paul Bocuse” and is based on a French chef's recipe. I had to try it instantly when I saw it although mine once again is my own interpretation. I didn't even use a pumpkin but an onion squash instead as the main ingredient and made two different versions: a vegan and a vegetarian option. Onion squash is earthy nutty and sweet and I found it ideal for this soup, it also looked extremely cute.
Ingredients for the vegan version:
1 cup red lentils
2 cloves of garlic
Pre-boil the lentils in stock until they are almost soft. Chop the onion and garlic and fry them lightly in a separate pan. Add the lentils and vegetable stock to the pan and keep simmering for a while. Season with salt, pepper, thyme and chili flakes. Add the bread crumbs only if the soup is not thick enough.
Ladle the lentil mix to the squash, place the lid back on and bake in an oven dish at 180C for about an hour until the squash is fully baked soft and has received some dark bits. If the squash gets too dark too quickly, lower the heat a bit.
One squash makes a huge dish as the whole squash is edible. I would suggest to save some of the baked squash if it's too mighty for you or to share one between two people.
Ingredients for the vegetarian version:
1 onion squash
2 cloves of garlic
Vegetarian pasta cheese grated
200ml double cream
Chop the onion and garlic and fry them for a short while. Add the cream to the mix and let it infuse at low heat under a lid for about 15 minutes. Season the sauce with thyme, salt and pepper. In the meanwhile grate the cheeses.
Carve the squash. First cut a small lid off, then remove the seeds.
Put some grated cheese into the bottom of the squash and ladle the creamy sauce into it. Add more cheese on the top and place the lid back on. Then bake in an oven dish at 180C for about an hour until the squash is fully baked soft and has received some dark bits. If the squash gets too dark too quickly, lower the heat a bit. The cream sucks in some lovely squash flavour.