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Pumpkin and Orange Soup

This is an amber-coloured, velvety soup with just a hint of orange. Serve it for lunch with some warm Irish soda bread or as a starter when entertaining with a spoonful of crème fraiche and some toasted pumpkin seeds on top.


375g pumpkin, peeled and roughly chopped
150g carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
300g onion, roughly chopped
1.3 litres good chicken or vegetable stock
100g red lentils
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 large orange


Put all the ingredients except the orange in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently on the hob for 20-25min or until all the vegetables are very tender.
Leave the soup to cool slightly before pureeing in a blender or food processor. Stir in the grated orange rind and juice and adjust seasoning to taste.

Try adding 1 tsp of mild curry paste to the vegetables before cooking for a hint of spice.

Use butternut squash when pumpkin is out of season.

Serve the soup with a little crumbled blue cheese stir in.

For a chunkier soup just puree half and return to the pan.

Replace some or all of the onion with leeks