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Durban chef shares one of her favourite starters for Christmas

Make a delicious spiced pumpkin-and-walnut loaf to enjoy with a tomato soup.

CHRISTMAS is a time for decadence and sharing special baked treats with friends and family for CURRO Hillcrest’s functions coordinator and chef extraordinaire, Karyn Smith.

She said her kitchen is the heart of her home, and the aromas of pumpkin, spices and cinnamon always remind her of Christmas.

Also read: Karyn shares her love language: family dinner

This week, she shares her recipe for spiced pumpkin-and-walnut loaf which can be delicious sliced and toasted with honey and butter.

Tomato soup served with spiced pumpkin-and-walnut loaf. Photo: Karyn Smith

Another option is to bake it in a pie dish – as a tart.

“Drizzle a mix of honey and butter (melted) over the tart while it is still hot,” she said.

Also read: Hillcrest resident shares her decadent homemade ice cream recipe

This is a side starter which can be enjoyed with tomato soup.

Look out for one of her Christmas main meal recipes next week.

Spiced Pumpkin-and-Walnut Loaf
2 cups flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon minced spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin
125ml vanilla yoghurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 eggs
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, diced

Preheat oven to 180°C and lightly butter a loaf pan.
Mix together all dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
Combine together pumpkin, yoghurt, oil, vanilla and eggs in a medium bowl.
Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are incorporated.
Stir in 1/2 cup walnuts and place mixture into greased pan; sprinkle with remaining walnuts.
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from pan.

Tomato soup. Photo: Karyn Smith
Tomato Soup
1/2 cup butter
3 sprigs thyme, finely chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup tomato paste
1 bunch coriander, diced
2 cans whole tomatoes
1–2 teaspoons sugar,
1 cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry onions until soft.
Add tomatoes, spices and tomato paste.
Cook down until tomatoes are soft to the fork.
Add cream and blitz with a stick blender.
This is totally delicious, and if you double the recipe, it freezes beautifully.

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