It’s almost Halloween! Yay?!

I am going to come clean and admit that I am not the biggest fan of Halloween – dressing up like zombies and carving pumpkins is not my idea of fun. That being said, I still celebrate this festival in my own special way – in the kitchen! Somebody needs to use up all those pumpkins that turn up during this time of the year after all.

So on that note, here is a beautiful recipe that captures the spirit of Halloween without ending up being tacky – Pumpkin Soup, Onion Bhaji and Cod. Sounds amazing right? Well read on; it’s well worth it.

This recipe comes from the lovely people at Ston Easton Park near Bath in Somerset. If you haven’t heard of Ston Easton Park, it’s a four star country house hotel nestled in 36 acres of beautiful West Country parkland. This historic property is also home to the award wining Sorrell Restaurant run by head chef Daniel Moon; which is considered to be one of the best restaurants in Bath. As you know, I am a big fan of the countryside (blog post here and here) and cannot wait to go do a bit more exploring.

Anyways back to the recipe. To create this luxurious little treat, you will need:

  • 1kg Pumpkin
  • 2 Large Shallots
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic
  • 500ml Chicken Stock
  • 150ml Double Cream
  • 250g Butter
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Large Onions
  • 30g Rice Flour
  • 60g Plain Flour
  • 1tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 50ml Lemon Juice
  • 400g Cod Fish
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • 20g Butter

Pumpkin Soup

For the pumpkin soup, start by peeling, de-seeding and dicing the pumpkin. Also dice the celery, garlic and shallots into small bite sized pieces. Once you have diced the vegetables, sweat down the vegetables together in a large pan with olive oil, butter and the chicken stock until the vegetables are soft. Add the cream and keep stirring till the soup reduces a little. Liquidise the soup mixture until smooth. Season with salt and pepper as required.

Onion Bhaji

The onion bhaji is slightly more complicated but definitely worth the hassle. Stir the rice and plain flour into a mixing bowl and add the butter and lemon juice to this mixture slowly. You want the consistency of double cream so keep stirring till you get that consistency. You might also need to add some cold water to get the double cream consistency but do so with care – you don’t want too much water in there. Add the spices to this mixture and season with salt and pepper as required. Slice up the onions into thin long slices and add this to the mixture too. Shape the mixture into round balls (or any other shape you fancy) and shallow fry till they go golden brown and crunchy.

Oven Roasted Cod

Now for the easiest part of the recipe – the oven roasted cod. Switch on the oven and turn it up to 200′ C (fan oven). Once the cod fish has been clean, pat gently with a clean paper towel to absorb any excess water. Lay each piece of cod fish on a piece of aluminium foil about twice as long and twice as wide as the piece of fish. Add salt and pepper to taste and any other spices you wish to add. I personally think the salt and pepper give it enough flavour but this is completely upto you. Maybe some pesto? Add some thinly sliced butter to the top of the cod fish and wrap up each individual parcel and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Plate it all up serving the cod on some wilted spinach along with the onion bhaji and the pumpkin soup.

Pumpkin Soup, Onion Bhaji and Oven Roasted Cod

Isn’t that a beauty? It’s the perfect main for a Halloween themed dinner party. Try it out and let me know what you think.