This time of year pumpkins are in abundance! As soon as Halloween is over, they are practically giving them away (some shops actually are!), but pumpkins can be used for so much more than just carving a Jack-o-lantern. Here are a few ideas of what you can do with a pumpkin for low cost yumminess!
I had every intention this year to recycle our Jack-o-lanterns after Halloween. However due to placing them on a cupboard that housed a warm DVD player, they perished within days! Note to self, place pumpkins in a cool place next time! If you do want to recycle carved pumpkins in the future, make sure you use a little LED light inside rather than a traditional candle, as candles will char the flesh which affects the flavour.
I picked up these two pumpkins for 50p at my local supermarket. The larger of the two was turned into Spicy pumpkin soup as the recipe below, and i’m not sure yet what the other will be turned into but I have a few ideas.
The first thing to do before any cooking, is to cut the pumpkin in half and remove the pulp and the seeds. I urge you not to throw away this part! I wanted to save our seeds to plant next year for our very own pumpkin patch. This is easily done and just requires washing the seeds and removing them from the pulp, and drying on a flat tray for a week or so before storing them.
However you can also make some yummy snacks from your pumpkin seeds! I have yet to try it but check out this awesome recipe from over at A Life in Practice for Honey BBQ Pumpkin Seeds.
Spicy Pumpkin Soup
I love making soup, and I love eating it! This is a really thick creamy warming soup, perfect for the transition from autumn to winter. I tend to cook my soups in a slow cooker, as it means I can cook in large batches, but the recipe can be modified to do on the hob if you wish.
- 1 medium to large pumpkin, cut in half and remove the pulp and seeds (ours made about 1.25kg of flesh after initial roasting)
- 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 tsp garam masala
- 250mls coconut milk
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper seasoning to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Place the two halves of the pumpkin on to a baking tray and bake for approximately 35 minutes. The pumpkin produces quite a lot of fluid when it’s cooked so make sure you have a baking tray with a lip (not like I have done!)
- Place all the other ingredients in the slow cooker.
- Remove the pumpkin from the oven. Spoon the flesh away from the skin and add to the slow cooker.
- Cook on a low for 5-6 hours or 3 hours on a high.
- When cooked (when the onion is soft), use an immersion blender to blend. Alternatively allow to cool and blend in a food processor in batches.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with crusty bread, croutons and a swirl of cream or coconut milk as you prefer.
If you don’t fancy this recipe, there are lots of others on-line to try to use up those pumpkins. Why not try this Pumpkin and Crispy Chorizo Soup or Low calorie Pumpkin and Pesto Soup over at Devon Mama, or try this delicious Pumpkin Spiced Norfolk Scone over at Little Paper Swans!
Whatever you do, just don’t waste those pumpkins!
NB. I am a home cook, and have had no formal training in preparing food. So these are just recipes that I use at home for the family. Whilst I have taken time to try and be as accurate as possible, some of the quantities are approximate. I am always keen to learn, so if you think the recipe can be improved upon please take the time to comment below. I also love seeing your versions.