Delicious Hearty Pumpkin Soup

This recipe comes from "A Spoonful of Country - Cooking from a Cootamundra Farmhouse" by Catherine Bragg Often 'starting-out cooks' don't have a large array of cooking equipment, especially essentials like food processors.  This is a good recipe for a wonderfully flavoured soup that doesn't need blending.

Ingredients butter 1 onion finely chopped 600g pumpkin, peeled and cut into small chunks 1/2 tsp sugar 1/2 cup soup mix (a mixture of lentils, chickpeas, barley, etc) 2 cups chicken stock 1 cup water 2 tsp tomato paste salt and pepper

Method 1. Melt a small knob of butter in a large saucepan.  Add onion and pumpkin, stir and cook for 5 minutes, then sprinkle in the sugar. 2.  Add the soup mix, stock and water, and bring to a boil. 3.  Simmer gently for about an hour until the vegetables and beans are tender. 4. Add tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste and mash the pumpkin pieces lightly with a fork, so it becomes a chunky hearty soup, adding a little extra stock or water if it becomes too thick. 5.  The soup is extra good with sippets, little squares of bread fried in oil and butter till crisp, sprinkled on the top.