A little bit spicy, very tasty and a little bit hot………2.2 kg pumpkin,, 1 whole bulb garlic, 1 whole red chilli………..125 ml olive oil, 1 large onion, 3 bay leaves, 1 lemon zest and juice, ¼ tsp cardamon seeds, from green cardamon pods (seeds from about 6 pods), 1 cinnamon stick, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1.4 litres chicken or vegetable stock, 150 ml double cream, (optional), salt and freshly ground black pepper, 50 g finely grated Parmesan to serve.
Preheat oven to 200°C/400 F/gas 6
Scoop out the seeds from the pumpkin and reserve. Peel the pumpkin and cut into large chunks and tip into a large roasting tin. Cut the garlic bulb in half and add to the tin with the whole red chilli and about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss all well together and place in oven an roast for 35-45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife.
Meanwhile, wash the pumpkin seeds well and remove the stringy strings. Dry them well and spread out in a single layer on a baking tray and roast in oven for 8-10 minutes, until golden. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, toss together and leave to cool.
Heat the 2 more tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion with the bay and lemon zest and saute for 5–6 minutes until softened but not coloured. Scoop out the garlic cloves into the pan and add the cardamon, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cumin and continue to sauté for a further 1–2 minutes. Add the pumpkin flesh to the pan with the stock.
Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Hook out the cinnamon stick, stir in the double cream (if using) and lemon juice and simmer for a further minute. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before whizzing, (in batches) until smooth in a blender.
Reheat, season to taste, swirl with cream and serve some grated Parmesan and the toasted pumpkin seeds on the side….