Pumpkins!

Pumpkins

With their vivid orange colour and excellent ability to be turned into spooky lantern masterpieces, we have truly embraced the pumpkin in recent years.

Pumpkin carving season is in full swing

But what happens to all the tasty flesh we scoop out in our quest to create the perfect lantern?  Information gathered by HUBBUB makes spooky reading.

It’s not easy to know what to do with it all though, especially when it’s as huge as this one from the Hundred House gardens !

Giant pumpkin.

I had a chat with Joanne Phillips to find out how she made sure nothing was wasted when she made her lanterns using this monster pumpkin. She managed to use every part except the stalk, producing enough soup for ten hungry friends, a deliciously moist spiced pumpkin loaf and even using the seeds to make piquant paprika nibbles.

Here are some of her favourite recipes

Thai  Pumpkin Soup

From this……

…….to this.

What you need

  • 1½ kg pumpkin or squash, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 tsp pumpkin oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 lemongrass, bashed a little
  • 3-4 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • lime juice, and sugar, for seasoning
  • 1 red chilli, sliced, to serve (optional)

What to do

Start off by roasting your pumpkin

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the pumpkin or squash in a roasting tin with 2tsp of oil and plenty of seasoning. Roast them for about 30 mins until golden and tender.

Roasted and ready to be turned into velvety soup spiked with the flavours of Thailand.

While the pumpkin is roasting, you can prepare the base for the soup.

  • Put the remaining oil in a large pan with the onion,ginger and lemongrass. Cook on a gentle heat for for 8-10 mins until softened. Stir in the curry paste and cook for one minute,stirring continuously. Add the roasted pumpkin, all but 3 tbsp of the coconut milk and the stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, then fish out the lemongrass. Cool for a few minutes, then whizz until smooth with a hand blender, or in batches if you use a large blender. Return to the pan to heat through, season with salt, pepper, lime juice and sugar to taste. Serve drizzled with the remaining coconut milk and scattered with as much chilli as you like.

Piquant Paprika Pumpkin Nibbles

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • On a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, add pumpkin seeds. Try to remove as much pulp from the seeds as possible.
  • In a small bowl, combine oil, paprika, chili powder and salt. Stir to combine. …
  • Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool, and serve.

    A tasty start to your halloween feast

These are gorgeous with a warming ale or a robust red wine. They taste even better when you remember that they’re virtually free and have a stack of health benefits including trytophan for restful sleep and magnesium for a healthy heart. Both of these could be essential if you’ve seen one too many zombie films this week.

Jo’s next quest is to find the  very best Pumpkin cake, so watch this space. I do love cakes made with vegetables, how can they be anything but healthy !

Happy Halloween, don’t get too scared and remember to use up your Pumpkins !

 

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