How to: Halloween Dinner Party Starter

Jenna is our guest foodie blogger who has been writing her blog, Hogg's Homemade, since early 2015. This October, Jenna is bringing us a four part special for those of you thinking of throwing a dinner party on Halloween, which will take us right through from creepy cocktails, a spooky starter, a maleficent main course to a deadly dessert.


Part 2: Sweet Roasted Pumpkin and Cumin Soup

Pumpkin is an underestimated vegetable. Often we carve out our scary Halloween faces and leave the insides for the compost bin. But pumpkin can make beautiful autumn soups and suppers.

I remember my Dad bringing round an enormous pumpkin one year that he had grown in his allotment and my housemates and I were adamant we would eat the lot. It’s safe to say we were eating spicy pumpkin soup and risotto for weeks!

This sweet roasted soup requires little effort and a lot of the ingredients are store cupboard staples, so you won’t need to spend too much. You could even carve up your left over pumpkin skins into name places to make sure nothing is wasted!

Serves 6

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 1hr 10 mins


1.5kg Pumpkin (1 ½ medium sized pumpkins should do)

Olive oil

2 ½ tbsp. Cumin

1 ½ tbsp. Dried coriander

3 tbsp. Clear honey


1 Large onion

900ml Vegetable stock

3 tbsp. Crème Fraiche (plus extra to serve)

Large bunch of fresh coriander


  1. First start by preparing your pumpkin; cut in half, then half again and scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh (a bit like you would do a melon). Then with your knife, score the pumpkin into chunks and run your knife alone the bottom, just above the skin, to cut away all the flesh.
  2. Put your pumpkin in a roasting dish and throughly coat with olive oil.
  3. Add your cumin, dried coriander, honey and a few pinches of salt – then toss to mix evenly.
  4. Put into a pre-heated 180c or gas mark 5 oven and roast for an hour. Stir half way to evenly roast.
  5. In the last ten minutes of cooking, finely chop your onions and fry in a little oil until soft.
  6. Add your vegetable stock and bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Once your pumpkin is done, move to a blender and blend until your desired consistency – I tend to whizz for a few seconds to keep in some chunky pieces.
  8. Add the pumpkin to a pan and whilst heating on low, stir in your vegetable stock (add more boiling water to thin the soup further if desired).
  9. Once the soup has come to the boil add your finely chopped coriander leaves.
  10. Simmer for a few minutes then turn off the heat and stir through the crème fraiche.
  11. Serve with an extra dollop of crème fraiche and one big coriander leaf to decorate.