Groombridge Farm Shop Squashes
As the air takes on a crisp, earthy fragrance and leaves begin to turn to red and gold, it can mean only one thing: autumn is here! And with it, our squash harvest, hand picked from the farm has arrived at Groombridge Farm Shop. Our home-grown squashes come in a range of shapes and sizes. We have the tasty little Patty Pan squash that can be roasted whole, the versatile Butternut and Spaghetti squashes, the smooth grey-skinned Crown Prince and the stripy Harlequin squash. We have three varieties of the traditional orange pumpkins this year including the Racer, Early King and Warty - all great for eating or carving spooky jack-o’-lanterns. We also have a selection of ornamental gourds. Bring your kids to come and choose from the wide selection with the benefit of no muddy boots for the journey home.
Cooking with squashes
Whether you're a seasoned chef or a culinary novice, there are countless ways to incorporate squashes into your autumn dishes. From creamy soups and roasted pumpkin seeds to mouthwatering spiced desserts, the possibilities are endless.
Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Prep Time: 15-minutes; Cook Time: 70-minutes; Yields 4 to 6 bowls
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- One 4-pound sugar pie pumpkin
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 large or 6 medium garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- Tiny dash of cayenne pepper
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk or heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds into a bowl
- Slice each pumpkin halve in half to make quarters. Brush or rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over the flesh of the pumpkin and place the quarters, cut sides down, onto the baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes or longer, until the orange flesh is easily pierced through with a fork. Set it aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add onion, garlic and salt to the skillet. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. In the meantime, peel the pumpkin skin off the pumpkins and discard the skin.
- Add the pumpkin flesh, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cayenne pepper (if using), and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Use your spoon to break up the pumpkin a bit. Pour in the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, to give the flavours time to meld.
- While the soup is cooking, toast the pumpkin seeds in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, golden and making little popping noises. You want them to be nice and toasty, but not burnt. Transfer seeds to a bowl to cool.
- Once the pumpkin mixture is done cooking, stir in the coconut milk and maple syrup. Remove the soup from heat and let it cool slightly. You can use a hand blender to blend this soup in the pot. Transfer the puréed soup to a serving bowl and repeat with the remaining batches.
- Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds over the soup and serve. Let leftover soup cool completely before transferring it to a proper storage container and refrigerating it for up to 4 days (leftovers taste even better the next day!). Or, freeze this soup for up to 3 months.
Roasted Patty Pan Squash
Prep Time: 5-minutes; Cook Time: 30-minutes; Servings: 4
- 1 1/2 lb. patty pan squash, stems trimmed and halved
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Toss squash with oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
- Roast until tender and golden, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and thyme to baking sheet with squash and toss to coat. Roast until garlic is golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes more.
- Sprinkle a large pinch of red pepper flakes and parsley over squash and toss to coat.
Pumpkin Decorating Fun
Involve the whole family in the pumpkin festivities. Gather around and transform your pumpkins into delightful works of art. Carving, painting, or adorning them with decorative elements – there are countless ways to express your creativity and add a touch of autumn charm to your home.