Growing up, it was the job of my sister and I to plant the pumpkin seeds late in spring.
Not one to ignore the opportunity to find a shortcut, we learnt that throwing the seeds around was a quicker and more effective method than hand planting each seed individually.
The results of our “experimental planting” were phenomenal The pumpkin vines grew out of the veggie garden, through the cook shed, over the back lawn and on top of my “just a little bit of bounce” cricket pitch.
Little did we realize, the plethora of pumpkins were required to be eaten quickly and after harvesting huge pumpkins numbering in the hundreds, we set about eating them in every way imaginable.
Pumpkin bread, pumpkin damper, roasted pumpkin, steamed pumpkin, pumpkin gnocchi pumpkin scones, boiled pumpkin, pumpkin mash, pumpkin and pasta, pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin. Pumpkin soup was the “most popular”, always a pot sitting on the slow combustion stove. Always served as a “starter”.
Needless to say, it took us a while to ever buy pumpkins again (much like the broad-beans incident, a story for another day).
It’s been almost 20 years since “The Year(s) of the Pumpkin”, and only now I’ve started to eat pumpkin soup again. However, I refuse your standard pumpkin soup. I love (need) to get a little creative.
Serves 4-6, VERY cheap, easy difficulty
- Half a pumpkin (any sort really), cut into even sized pieces
- 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
- 1 litre of water
- 3 tablespoons of garam masala
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon of tomato chutney (I used a ploughmans chutney I bought from the market)
- Salt and pepper
- Chicken stock cube
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
- Place the pumpkin into a baking dish, mix through 2 table spoons of the garam masala and a healthy glug of olive oil. Cook for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft (once cooked, remove from the oven and spread the maple syrup over them and let rest until the potatoes are ready)
- Meanwhile, simmer the potatoes with the water and the chicken stock cube
- Once the potatoes are soft, add the pumpkin, the chilli flakes, the last table-spoon of garam masala and chutney. Simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Using a stick blender (or passing it through a blender) mix the soup thoroughly
- Season carefully. Start with a good twist of cracked pepper and then a healthy seasoning of salt
- Serve with another twist of pepper.