For me it is rather cooking around the world, as most things I have at home, but the fresh produce, of course.
Buy an Orange Hokkaido squash,a small packet of H-cream (I like to have some in my cupboard so I buy it homogenized), take from your storage an onion or two (depends on size), and a litre, two pints or a quarter of a gallon of broth (I use broth that has been dried and is sold as powder, like stock cubes, just powderized)
– you need about 28 gramm (four teaspoon) for a liter – and 140 gramm cost €0,59 – so that is about 12 Eurocent. One hokkaido costs about 1,50 per kilogramm – which is about the amount you need here. And the cream is about 0,49 per 200 ml package. You use any amount you like. My recipe says 3 packages, I say one is enough. An onion is not expensive, either, a kilo is about 0,49 – and you need about 100 gr … You need some neutral oil, too, about two tablespoons should be enough – a bottle of rape seed oil (1 litre) is 0,99 – you need the equivalent of about 4 cent here.
So you open the Hokkaido,
get the seeds out, cut the Hokkaido into cubes. Peel the onion(s), cut them into cubes, too.
Heat oil into a big saucepan, 2 to 3 litres (size of pot, not the amount of oil) should fit into that. Fry onions till they turn glassy (about 15 minutes), add hokkaido and broth. Cook for 20 minutes. Let cool a little, mash it up into a mixer (one portion at a time), get it back into the pan, add salt (if you think it is still necessary, if you take broth from that powder don’t), add pepper and if you are like me, add curry. Stir well, add cream, heat but don’t let it boil anymore.
Serve with a few sliced leaves of Basil (just if you happen to have some).
That is 2,20 Euro for 4 portions. Not counted pepper and curry (you need so little that I doubt that would make much of a difference) or electricity (for the mixer/cooking) or gas (for the cooking).
The more spicy you choose your curry, the more warming the soup. If you want to take some dried pumpkin seeds (peeled, but you knew that) and roast them dry in a pan, till you just can smell some aroma – don’t wait till they take colour. That adds some extra crunch. Or just fry a few bacon cubes … But then you leave the vegetarian territory.
I changed the name of the pumpkin, as in Germany it is known as Hokkaido Kürbis – in America it is known as Red Kuri squash or Orange Hokkaido squash and in the UK the name is Onion squash.
By the same recipe you can make a carrot soup – just exchange the kilo of squash against a kilo of carrots.