Every year, millions of pumpkins are thrown away after being carved for Halloween. Pumpkins are delicious and often over looked, so here’s a simple recipe for your Jack O Lantern.
Half a small pumpkin, peeled
One small butternut squash, peeled
Two vegetable stock cubes
Two chicken stock cubes
100g of butter
Two bell peppers
Four small onions; three white and one red
Five cloves of garlic
Two teaspoons of cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
This will make six good sized portions, if you wanted to use all of the pumpkin then just double the ingredients. This will take around an hour and a half to prepare and cook.
Roughly chop your onions and garlic and place in the pan with the butter for around ten minutes, or until soft. Mix the four stock cubes into 800ml of boiling water and pour into the pan.
Dice the peppers and add into the mix. Peel and cut your pumpkin and butternut squash into chunks, adding them into the pan as you go. Once all of the ingredients are in the pan, leave on a medium heat for around 20-30 minutes, stirring intermittently.
Once the cubes of pumpkin and butternut are soft, pour the mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the soup back into the pan, adding the cinnamon, salt and pepper.
This year, we have grown some more unusual types of squash. Naturally, as it is autumn, we decided to make a tasty soup with a couple of them.
One large Uchiki Kuri, around 450g when peeled
One large Patty Pan, around 550g when peeled
80g Courgette, peeled [optional]
Three white onions
One red onion
Four cloves of garlic
One vegetable stock cube
Salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle of nutmeg
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
This will make enough for four generous portions and takes approximately 45 minutes to prepare and cook.
Slice and dice the onions and crushed garlic and place them in a pan with a splash of oil to caramelise. Whilst the onion and garlic are cooking, roughly cut your squashes into cubes [2cm across].
Crumble the stock cube into 500ml of water, or you can use homemade vegetable stock if you would prefer. Put the squash and the water into the pan and simmer on a medium heat for 20 minutes or until the squash is soft.
Add the onion into the mixture and pour into a blender or food processer and blend until smooth. Once smooth, pour back into the pan and bring back up to heat. Once the soup is warm through, stir in the butter and add the seasoning.
No cream is needed for this recipe, but you could add it at this stage if you prefer. If you do not have a blender, you can use a masher (metal is the best for the task) but the soup will be of a chunky consistency.
Here’s a simple recipe to use up some of your pumpkin glut. This will make enough for four large portions.
Ingredients: – 900g of roughly chopped and peeled pumpkin – one large red onion – one parsnip – one carrot – one large potato – three cloves of garlic – 150ml of double cream – Two vegetable or chicken stock cubes – 1tsp cinnamon – 1tsp nutmeg – 1tsp paprika – salt and pepper to taste
Place the chopped carrot, onion, garlic, parsnip and potato in a pan with some water to cover, let the vegetables soften for around 10-15 minutes. Add the pumpkin and let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes and remove from the heat. Drain the water from the pan and then add the stock mixture. For extra flavour, we added one vegetable stock cube and one chicken stock cube. Allow this to simmer for around 20-30 minutes.
Put the softened vegetables and stock mix into a blender. Blend until smooth. Follow up with the double cream and blend until you are satisfied with the consistency.Put the soup back in the pan and gently heat.
If you do not have a blender, you can use a masher. Remove the pan from the heat and mash the mixture until you are satisfied. Stir in the double cream and place back on the hob to warm through.
If you want, you can roast the pumpkin seeds for an extra crunch. Rinse the seeds in cold water and then place the seeds on a clean tea towel to take off the excess moisture. Put them in a bowl with the seasoning of your choice; we used 1tsp of cinnamon and 1tsp of paprika. Add 1tsp of olive oil and mix the seasoning and pumpkin seeds until they are coated. Put them on a baking tray at 180°c, checking every 5 minutes until they are crispy. Ours took around 15-20 minutes.
I love this recipe with a chunky slice of homemade bread.