Pumpkin Soup II

This version of Pumpkin Soup originated in the West Indies. It is served chilled and is complemented both in taste and colour by a garnish of orange slices and chopped chives.

1 oz. butter

2 small onions, thinly sliced and pushed out into rings

2 tablespoons flour

2 pints chicken stock

1 lb. pumpkin flesh, chopped

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

8 oz. tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

10 fl. oz. milk

4 tablespoons sour cream

2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions and cook them, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown.

Remove the pan from the heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually stir in the stock, being careful to avoid lumps. Stir in the pumpkin, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, salt, tomatoes and milk. Return the pan to moderate heat and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the soup for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the pumpkin is tender.

Remove the pan from the heat and strain the soup through a strainer into a large mixing bowl, pressing down on the pulp with the back of a wooden spoon to extract the juices. Discard the pulp. Return the soup to a medium-sized saucepan and bring it to the boil, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the soup into individual serving bowls.

Allow the soup to cool for minutes before chilling it in the refrigerator for 1 ½ hours or until the soup is required.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine the sour cream and the lemon juice. Remove the bowls from the refrigerator.

Place a spoonful of the sour cream mixture in each bowl and serve immediately.

Punch

Punch is a drink, made from a combina-tion of ingredients, which is usually only served on special occasions.

The word punch is derived from the Hindu word panch which means five – originally only five ingredients were used to make punch: lime juice, ARRACK, sugar, spices and water.

Nowadays the range of ingredients from which it may be made has grown to include every type of wine and spirit, cider, tea, beer (usually ale) and various fruit juices. Soda water is frequently added to punches to either dilute or aerate them.

Punch may be cither alcoholic or non-alcoholic, hot or cold. It is traditionally served, with a ladle, from a large bowl and is frequently garnished with slices of fruit.

Punch I is a super mixture of red wine, port and brandy.

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