Fall has come, bringing with it the sad death of Freddie the Leaf, kotatsu weather and pumpkins! If you’re thinking of making a Jack-O-Lantern this Halloween with your school, friends or just by your lonesome, there’s no need to waste the pumpkin guts you’ve furiously carved out.
You can of course roast the pumpkin seeds. Simply clean and salt them and throw them in the oven for a bit for a tasty snack. For an added kick you can either soak them in saltwater or sprinkle some cayenne pepper, chilli powder, cinnamon, soy sauce, garlic salt, curry powder, Worcestershire sauce or any other favourite spice over them. Yum-o!
And here is a recipe from Cheryl Martin for a delicious sounding pumpkin soup!
Curried Pumpkin Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp curry powder
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1kg pumpkin, coarsely chopped with skin and seeds removed
6 cups liquid vegetable or chicken stock
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, to serve
1. Heat oil and butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan (be careful – it might spit). Add onion and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes to soften. Add curry powder and cook for 1 minute more.
2. Add tomato paste, pumpkin and stock and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.
3. Purée the mixture in a blender (or use a potato masher), then return to the pan to reheat. Stir in lemon juice, then stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls scattered with coriander.
Tip: Microwaving the pumpkin first makes it easy to skin. Take out the seeds and put the whole thing in the microwave. It took about 15 minutes on high for ¾ of a pumpkin when I did it. Then when you take it out the pumpkin is partially softened and the skin is really easy to cut off.