Creamy Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients1/4 cup (60ml) butter 2 leek 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 red birdseye chilli, finely chopped (optional) 1 cinnamon stick 3cm piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 1 apple 2 carrots 1.5kg pumpkin (Buttercup varieties work well for soups.  They have a richer flavour) 1/3 cup (70g) red split peas (optional) Fresh thyme, coriander and/or parsley Salt, Pepper and Cream

Method 1. Peel, seed and cut the pumpkin into 3cm pieces.  Lightly coat with olive oil and roast in a 220 oven for about 45 minutes or until golden.  Take care to turn the pumpkin a few times while roasting. 2. Thinly slice the white of the leek. Peel and coarsely chop the carrots. 3. Put butter, leeks, carrots, garlic and thyme into a large soup pan and lightly saute for about 5-10 minutes. 5. Place a cast iron fry pan on high heat and roast the cumin seeds.  Then grind them in a mortar and pestle. 4. Peel, core and slice into 1 1/2 cm cubes the apple.  Add apple, cinnamon, cumin and ginger to the leeks. Saute for another few minutes to release the flavour of the spices. 5. Add stock and split peas and gently simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils and carrots are tender. 6. Add in the roasted pumpkin and simmer for another five minutes. 7.  Blend.  Adjust seasonings for taste.  You can add more cinnamon, more chillies, more salt and pepper, or even a dollop of honey. 8.  Serve with a dollop of double cream and a sprinkle of coriander or parsley.