You know those people that can cook an entire meal without the aid of a cookbook, Siri, or strict supervision from a concerned partner/parent? I hate those people.
I am not one of those people. As if our generation doesn’t have enough pressure to be chronic over-achievers in every facet of our lives (I’ve taken up a second language—for fun (!)—, I own my own home, I have a decent job that I’m actually quite good at, I have a subscription to The New Yorker, and I can apply winged eyeliner like a pro; on public transport!), with the barrage of MKR, Masterchef, and Jamie Oliver telling me I can make a banquet for 100 people in 30 minutes, I now have to add ‘novice chef’ to my curriculum vitae. Fucking hell.
I really do want to be good at cooking, so I have decided that having a few classic dishes under my belt, can only be good thing, right? To get the ball rolling, let’s start off with the simplest of simple recipes, a classic Pumpkin Soup. I can’t possibly fuck this up, can I?
Here’s what to do. Spoiler: it’s easy.
1 kg pumpkin peeled and chopped into chunks
700 ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 onion roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic roughly chopped
140 ml pot double cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large pot
Step 1: Heat the olive oil and add the chopped onions. Cook for 5 mins, until soft. See, easy.
Step 2: Add the crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Step 3: Add the pumpkin to the pan, then carry on cooking for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally until it starts to soften and turn golden. We’ve got this cooking thing, guys!
Step 4: Pour the vegetable stock into the pan, then season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins until the pumpkin is very soft.
Step 5: Pour the double cream into the pan, bring back to the boil, then purée with a hand blender.
Step 6: Serve with a swirl of double cream on top and a chunk of crusty bread.
Short of a brief tussle with a blender (and maybe a cut finger or two), that was reasonably harmless. Pat yourself on the back, and chalk that up as a success!
Image credit: Gabrielle Stjernqvist