It’s Pumpkin Season
Available throughout October and November the pumpkin is the most memorable of the winter squashes and is packed full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Specifically, pumpkins are rich in magnesium and the amino acid tryptophan. In addition they have high levels of antioxidants in the form of vitamins A, C, E and zinc.
While pumpkins are best known for making great Halloween lanterns they are a great cooking ingredient with sweet flesh. At Groombridge Farm Shop the pumpkins are fresh from the farm so why not come and pick one up and try out one of the recipe ideas below.
- Olive oil
- Ground clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, sea salt
- Heat oven to 200oC. Using a large metal spoon, scoop out the seeds and insides of the pumpkin. Save the seeds for roasting. Use a sharp knife to cut slices of pumpkin, 1-inch thick.
- Place pumpkin slices on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and rub on both sides of pumpkin. Season with salt, spices and brown sugar. Roast for 18-20 minutes, depending on thickness of pumpkin slices (check at 15 minute mark).
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 25g unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium pumpkin (prepared weight about 850g) deseeded and roughly chopped
- 1 medium-sized floury potato, such as Maris Piper, roughly chopped
- 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock, a little extra may be needed
- 100ml double cream
- 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Put the onion, carrots, garlic bay leaf, butter and half the olive oil into a large pan. Cook over a low–medium heat for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender but not coloured.
- Add the squash and potato, mix to combine and cook for a further 2–3 minutes. Pour in the stock, season well and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, half cover the pan with a lid and continue to cook for about 40 minutes until the squash is really tender when tested with the point of a knife.
- Pick out the bay leaf and blend the soup until smooth using a stick blender.
- Add the cream and a little more stock if the soup is on the thick side, taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as required.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the pumpkin seeds and fry quickly until the seeds start to pop. Remove from the pan.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with a swirl of cream and the toasted pumpkin seeds.
Top tips for this soup recipe
- Pumpkins vary considerably in their flavour and sweetness. A large pumpkin will have more water and less flavour than a small pumpkin.
- You can make this soup with leftover pumpkin, reducing the simmering time to 15-minutes, just so the potato is cooked through
Storing your pumpkin
- Pumpkins, like most winter squashes, can be stored for up to a month at room temperature, or kept in the fridge for up to three months.
- If the pumpkin is cut, wrap it in cling film and keep in the fridge for up to five days