Posted on October 31st, 2016
It may be Halloween, but pumpkins are for more than just carving spooky faces into; this often overlooked winter squash is a lovely nutritious ingredient which can be used in so many culinary delights. Pumpkins are in season October to December in the UK so now is the time to be making the most of them in lovely comforting dishes such as soups, stews and curries for those cold winter nights. There are numerous recipes and ideas for cooking or baking with pumpkin, here are just a couple to inspire you!
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
1 Teaspoon dried chilli
1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
1 Large onion
3 Cloves garlic
1 Stick of celery
1 Litre hot vegetable stock
1. Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and cut into wedges.
2. Place the wedges on two large baking trays and drizzle over a little olive oil.
3. Finely grind the chilli and coriander seeds with a pinch of salt and sprinkle over the pumpkin with some black pepper.
4. Roast in an oven preheated to 170C for 1 hour or until soft and slightly caramelised at the edges.
5. Roughly chop the onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Heat a lug of olive oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan, add the vegetables and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft and sweet but not coloured.6. When the pumpkin is ready, add to the pan with the hot stock. Blend and add more water if you like a thinner consistency.
Pumpkin Curry With Chickpeas
1 tbsp Sunflower oil
3 tbsp Thai yellow curry paste, or vegetarian alternative
2 Onion finely chopped
3 Large stalks lemongrass, bashed with the back of a knife
6 Cardamom pod
1 tbsp Mustard seed
1 Piece pumpkin or a small squash (about 1kg)
250ml Vegetable stock
400ml Can reduced-fat coconut milk
400g Can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Large handful mint leaves
Naan bread, to serve
1. Gently fry the curry paste, onions, lemongrass, cardamom and mustard seed in the oil for 2-3 mins.
2. Add the pumpkin into the pan, stir to coat in the paste.
3. Pour the stock and coconut milk into the pan and bring everything to a simmer.
4. Add the chickpeas and continue to cook for about 10 mins until the pumpkin is tender.
5. Squeeze the juice of one of the limes into the pan, cut the other lime into wedges for serving.
6. Just before serving, tear over mint leaves, serve with the lime wedges and warm naan breads.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
The seeds of the pumpkin are often discarded during preparation but these could be roasted for a nutritious snack. Rinse the seeds to remove any of the pumpkin flesh, coat in olive oil, spread over a baking tray and then bake until golden. Eat as they are or add to soups or salads.