One year I threw an adult Hallowe'en party. It was fairly staid, no dressing up or anything, but we had a roaring fire, plenty of wine, everyone had to tell a scary story, and I promised there would be pumpkin soup and home-made bread. Except when I went out to buy a pumpkin there were none to be had. None at all. Not even for ready money.
So I bought some onions, carrots and swede and I made "mock pumpkin soup". It was orange-coloured, it tasted autumnal, and it was delicious with home-made crusty bread.
A few weeks later I got hold of a pumpkin and made real pumpkin soup for my friends, but they unanimously agreed that the mock pumpkin soup had been better. So here is the recipe for mock pumpkin soup.
Mock Pumpkin Soup
Chop a couple of onions and fry in a knob of butter with a crushed garlic clove. Peel a swede and a few carrots (sorry for the lack of pounds and kilos here, I just don't cook that way - relax, it'll taste great, trust me) and chop into smallish chunks, then fry them also until they start to change colour. Add a pint or so of vegetable stock and about half a pint of milk and simmer with a bayleaf until the veg is tender. Remove the bayleaf and liquidise. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and generous amounts of freshly grated nutmeg. Serve with a swirl of cream, and home-made crusty bread.