Monday, 28 October 2013

Cooking with Booze: Spicy Pumpkin Cider Soup

There's a storm blowing, so it's time to batten down the hatches and make yourself a bowl of something warming with a kick of the sauce to calm your nerves.

I decided last night that a hearty soup was needed, so I took what I had to hand and got chopping. I didn't just add the booze because I'm a sucker for the stuff - the pumpkin flavours work beautifully with cider, giving a really autumnal, tangy, flavoursome soup. I used Orchard Pig because we regularly have it in the house, but just try and find a nice dry or medium cider - the best you can afford, because the flavours do matter.

This soup is also a good meal soup if you've got leftovers that need using: between steps 3 and 4, add shredded roast chicken, or a few tablespoons of leftover rice, or even a giant handful of grated cheese, and you're onto a real winner.

Spicy Pumpkin Cider Soup recipe (serves 6-8)


  • 30g Butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 'eating' pumpkin (nicer and cheaper than the carving ones), skinned, seeds removed, chopped
  • 2tsp Ras El Hanout spice (or if you can't find this, half a tsp each of ginger, nutmeg, paprika, and cinnamon)
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 400ml cider


1. Melt the butter in a pan on a medium heat, and add the onions and garlic. Allow to sizzle for about five minutes.
2. Then add the pumpkin and ras el hanout, give it a good mix to make sure the spice coats the pumpkin flesh, and turn up the heat a little. Allow the pumpkin to sweat for about 10-15 minutes, until it's just starting to go softer and yellower.
3. Add the stock and cider, and stir it up again. Bring to a gentle simmer, and leave for 20-25 minutes, or until all the pumpkin is nice and soft.
4. Remove from the heat, allow to cool for five minutes, and then blend the mixture.
5. Serve with a swirl of sour cream.

Let us know your favourite cider recipes in the comments!

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