Have you ever wondered what to do with the flesh of the pumpkins that you have painstakingly carved into beautiful yet macabre creatures to the delight of your children? Below are a few suggestions that you can create with the delicious sweet flesh which is all too often discarded to the bin.
Usually the first things to be abandoned are the seeds. These make the most delicious snack which kids love. I still remember the first time I tried them when I was about 9 years old. I was celebrating Halloween at my American friend’s house and her mother produced a bowl of seeds for us to munch on. I was reluctant at the thought of eating what looked like dried seeds, but being polite I popped one in my mouth and experienced an amazing explosion of salty roasted pumpkin. The bowl was soon polished off.
Scrape the seeds from your pumpkin and give then a good wash taking as much pulp off as possible. Spread the seeds out on a baking tray and leave to dry overnight. When ready to cook, sprinkle with salt and pop in the oven at 100c for an hour. Eat hot or cold but I guarantee they won’t be around for long!
With the flesh, you can make a nourishing soup to warm you up and welcome you home after the fun but freezing hours of traipsing door to door trick-or-treating.
- 1 x 4kg pumpkin
- 125g unsalted butter
- 2 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 1.7 litres chicken stock
- salt and pepper
Scrape out all the flesh of a medium sized pumpkin and roughly chop. In a large, heavy-based sauce pan melt the unsalted butter then add the finely chopped shallots. Gently cook the shallots for 10 minutes or until they are wonderfully soft and starting to go golden brown. Add the pumpkin flesh, cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook the pumpkin for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat, allow to cool slightly, then blitz the soup in a food processor until it is velvety smooth. Pour the soup back into the pan, return to the heat and bring to a low simmer and cook for a further half hour.
Serve with a dollop of crème fraichè and a sprinkling of roasted pumpkin seeds.
By Fleur Sladen, The Food Stork