Go to the supermarkets at the moment and you won’t be able to miss the big orange things by the door – pumpkins!
And it may suprise you to know that they aren’t just for carving. They can be used in much the same way as other squash, and if you look at the price of butternut squash at the moment you will see that it makes sense to pick up a few pumpkins to replace them in recipes. The kids can even have fun carving them with you first. Good practice for halloween.
Any recipe you would normally use a butternut squash in such as tagine, beef stew, vegetable curry and soups you can use pumpkin instead! It is slightly softer and sweeter but makes a brilliant, cheap alternative so use them up!!
Sweet potato and Pumpkin Soup
• 1.5 litres chicken stock (could use vegetable instead)
• 1 pumpkin
• 4 small sweet potatoes
• 1 large onion
• 1 knob butter
• 1 splash olive oil
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp cumin
• 1/2 tsp paprika
• 1 garlic clove
I made my stock on monday by chopping up the chicken we had eaten for sunday dinner and putting it in a pot, covering it with water and boiling it for an hour and a half. Skim off any fat then put through a strainer. Then use a clean tea towel over a bowl and put stock through this to strain out anything else. But you can just as easily use stock cubes that’s what I use 99% of the time!
• Chop and fry onion in butter for a few minutes until softened.
• Add chopped garlic and cumin and paprika. Fry for 2min.
• Slice and peel pumpkin – not the easiest veg to peel! Keep the seeds to use later.
• Add pumpkin roughly chopped.
• Peel and chop up sweet potato and add to pan with the oil. Fry all veg for a further 2 min.
• Add stock and salt.
• Simmer on a low heat for 30 min.
• Blend. Tastes great just like this but you could add a touch of cream for extra richness. Might need an extra splash of water if you don’t like it too thick.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
To use up those pumpkin seeds then gently rinse them and pat dry using a tea towel – don’t use kitchen roll as they just stick!
Melt 1tbsp butter and add a pinch of salt. Mix the pumpkin seeds into the butter.
Pour out onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and spread out.
I shook a teaspoon of garam masala over mine to make them lightly spiced, you could use any herbs or spices in your cupboard.
Bake at 180°c for 30min.
A really tasty snack!
Have you got any good pumpkin recipes? I’m looking forward to carving a few over the next few weeks -me and hubster have a competition every year!