If you think all you can do with your plump orange friend is get creative with his face and make its soul glow you couldn’t be more wrong. So go buy yourself a pumpkin and get playful with it…
Spicy Pumpkin and Celeriac Soup
1 pumpkin, peeled and deseeded (i.e. the inside flesh you discard when carving its face)
1 whole celeriac
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp chilli flakes
1tbsp brown sugar
500ml chicken stock (use a stock cube and water)
- Heat the butter in a large pan and fry the onion and garlic until softened for 5 minutes.
- Chop all vegetables up roughly and add to the pan, cooking for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the seasoning, spices and stock and simmer for 40-45 minutes after it has initially boiled.
- Pour into a blender in batches and whizz until you have a smooth consistency (use a sieve if need to discard any extra pulp).
- Season to taste, add sugar and thin with water if necessary. Cream is also a soothing addition when serving and brown bread does the trick of mopping up every last mouthful.
Give something back to nature
Chop up the insides of the pumpkin into little pieces and put on your plants and grass, you’re not just feeding them but all our sqwirmy-worms and birds too.
Serves 4, Inspired by a Jamie Oliver Recipe
1 pumpkin, deseeded and chopped up into quarters
2 small free-range eggs
250g pack of ready-made dessert pastry
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
3 tbsp caster sugar
100ml double cream
- Place the pumpkin on a tray, sprinkle over the spices and pour over the honey. Cover with foil and bake for 40-50 minutes at 180ºc.
- Roll the pastry out onto a floured surface and line a 10cm tart tin with it, baking blind in the same oven for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Place the pumpkin and its juices in a blender and whizz until you have a smooth consistency, add the sugar and beaten eggs before finally stirring in the cream.
- Pour into the pastry case and sprinkle over some additional honey. Bake for a further 40-45 minutes.
- Serve with cream or vanilla ice cream.
Make a sweet smelling fire on bonfire’s night
Carefully set your pumpkins alight with a few sticks and old flyers to produce a sweet aroma and bright fire. You could maybe even get a smore involved and wave a sparkler too…
Smores: 2 digestives, marshmallows, 4 chunks dairy milk chocolate, tinfoil.
Place the chocolate and marshmallows between the biscuits, wrap in tinfoil and place on your pumpkin fire for a few minutes. Unwrap when cooled and enjoy…y-UM.
Toast the Seeds
This makes a great topping for your muesli or porridge and works as a great addition to chicken dishes and salads.
- Wash seeds to remove any pumpkin flesh.
- Simmer for 10 minutes on the hob in salty water.
- Place in a roasting dish with seasoning and olive oil at 180ºc and allow to sizzle for 10-20mintutes on the top rack until bronzed.
Who knew buying that overpriced pumpkin could prove such delicious and creative fun…if I were you, I’d buy two and make your housemates jealous.
Words: Natasha Straker