1. Cut the tops off the pumpkins and set aside. Remove the seeds and fibers from the middle of each and discard. Using a sharp knife and a spoon, carefully hollow out the pumpkins. Scoop out the flesh and roughly chop.
2. In a large pan with a lid, melt the butter over low heat, then add the onion and garlic. Cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes, until softened and golden brown. Add the chopped pumpkin, the chili flakes and the nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium and cover with the lid. Sauté for 6 to 8 minutes.
3. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil, then simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly. Whisk until smooth. To serve, fill the hollowed-out pumpkins with soup (these can be raw or baked with their lids on at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes, drizzled with a little olive oil).
4. Swirl over a little cream and scatter with toasted pumpkin seeds. Pass cheese straws at the table for dipping.
- The soup can be frozen for up to 3 months in a sealed container.
- Fry sage leaves in a little oil to create sage crisps for a soup garnish, or try adding drops of pumpkin-seed oil to the finished dish.
- If you don’t have enough pumpkin flesh, bulk it up with chunks of butternut squash. Alternatively, you can always cheat by adding store-bought cartons of puréed butternut squash or carrot soup.