British Cooking

Part 2: the Christmas Cooking Session

For our third cooking session we decided to create a special meal due to Christmas. This time we even prepared two different dishes: Pumpkin soup and scones.

Pumpkin soup

Pumpkin soup is commonly known as a quite international dish but there are lots of different recipes. We used a popular English one and tried to upgrade it with some Christmassy ingredients.

Ingredients and recipe for 2 big pots of soup (for 15 persons):
Olive oil
2 pumpkins
4 onions
2 cloves of garlic
vegetable stock
300 ml double cream
Spices: paprika powder, curry powder, cinnamon
ginger root
fresh chili
400ml orange juice
(white) bread
pumpkin seeds
4 tomatoes

Heat 4 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan, then gently cook the chopped onions, the garlic and the sliced tomatoes for 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin, cut into chunks to the pan and season everything with salt, pepper, ginger, chili, paprika powder, curry powder, cinnamon and garlic. Then carry on cooking for 8-10 Minutes until the pumpkin starts to soften.
Pour 1400 ml of vegetable stock and the orange juice into the pan. Bring to the boil and then let it simmer for 20 Minutes until the pumpkin is very soft. Add 300 ml of double cream, then purée the soup with a hand blender. You can also sieve the soup (but we didn’t).
To make the croutons, cut some slices of bread into small squares. Heat some olive oil, then fry the bread until it starts to become crisp. Add some pumpkin seeds to the pan and let them cook for some more minutes. Serve the pumpkin soup with croutons and seeds.

Scones (10 pieces)

If we think of British teatime, we often associate scones as a typical pastry with it. Normally you would eat scones with jam and clotted cream, but we chose to make a savoury version as well. Thus, we did not only have a delicious dessert but also a great side dish for our soup.

Ingredients:
225g flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
50 g butter
1 egg
100ml milk
Savoury version: 50g cheddar cheese and 50g diced ham
Sweet version: 25g sugar

Heat the oven to 200 degree. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Then mix together the flour, baking powder and the salt.
Add the butter. Now you can decide whether you want to make the savoury or the sweet version and add the required ingredients. Stir in the beaten egg and the milk to get a soft dough. Put the dough on a floured surface and knead it lightly. Then roll out the dough until it is about 2 cm thick. Now use a glass or a cookie cutter to stamp out rounds and place them on a baking sheet.
At last brush the tops of the scones with some milk and top them with the remaining cheese if you are preparing the savoury version. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the pastry is well risen and golden. For the sweet version you can serve them with clotted cream and your favourite jam.

To sum it up, you can say the cooking session was a great success. Not only did the dishes turn out very well also our organization was definitely better than the last two times. We really liked the pumpkin soup because the added spices like cinnamon and ginger created a nice flavor perfect for wintertime. If you want to try out the scones, pay attention to add enough flour so the dough is not to sticky and keep in mind that you will probably get less than 10 pieces out of the dough.

We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Stay tuned for our following cooking sessions in the next year.

Amelie Späth und Lotti Frank, Q11, „Cooking like the British”