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Pumpkin and red pepper soup with candied shallot and pumpkin seeds

17 October 2013

Don’t waste any of the pumpkin brains scooped out of your jack-o'-lanterns this Halloween, try this warming spicy pumpkin soup instead.

Pumpkin and red pepper soup
Pumpkin and red pepper soup with candied shallot and pumpkin seeds served with low fat crème fraiche

Preparation time

15 minutes

Cooking time

35 minutes




For the soup:

  • 4 red peppers, deseeded and cut into quarters
  • 30g butter
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 6 shallots, diced peeled
  • 750g pumpkin, peeled and diced into 2 cm pieces
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • Leaves of one sprig of thyme
  • 1.2 litre good vegetable stock
  • 100ml double cream (optional)
  • Sea salt and black pepper

For the candied shallots:

  • 25g unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp of cumin seeds
  • 8 (250g) shallots, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp honey

To serve:

  • 2 tsp chives, finely chopped
  • 30g pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 120ml low fat crème fraiche


To make the soup:

Place the peppers skin side up, on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the skins are charred. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to cool. Once cool, peel off the skins, and reserve the flesh.

Meanwhile, melt the butter with oil in a large, heavy based saucepan. Add the shallots, pumpkin and red chilli, season with sea salt and black pepper and sweat the vegetables for 5-10 minutes without browning. Add the garlic and thyme and cook on a low heat for a further minute. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add in the red peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes.

For the candied shallots:

Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat, add the cumin seeds and shallots and fry until soft. Add the ground cumin and paprika and cook the shallots for a further then 1 minute, stirring the shallot mixture all the time to prevent burning. Fry until caramelised for approx. 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with sea salt and stir in the honey.

To finish and serve:

Blend the soup in a food processor or with a hand blender and adjust the seasoning to taste. Return to the pan, if a little thick add more stock and if you wish, stir in the cream. Gently reheat the soup and ladle into warmed bowls. Place a spoonful of low fat crème fraiche in each and sprinkle with the chives, toasted pumpkin seeds and candied shallots.

Visit our soup and stew recipes section for more delicious meal ideas, or visit our Autumn recipes section for more seasonal cooking ideas


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.