It’s definitely peak pumkin time! The shops are full of them for our Halloween lanterns. Thank goodness. Those of us that are Scottish and over a certain age will remember the horror of using turnips for our lanterns instead. Although the final result could look great and quite scary, the sheer physical effort involved was something else. I do understand why we’ve moved away from that tradition.
I really love a good Halloween lantern but do worry that an awful lot of tasty and nutritious goodness goes straight into the bin. One reason I’m such a keen soup advocate is because it’s a great way to avoid food waste – most scraps and leftovers can contriubute to a tasty soup and pumpkin is no different.
Pumpkin is one variety of squash, so you can easily adapt your favourite recipes by swapping out squash and replacing with pumpkin. I’ve provided a few links which may help if you’re stuck for ideas.
- Pumpkin Soup – BBC Good Food
- Pumpkin and Ginger Soup – Jamie Magazine
- Glorious Roasted Pumkin Soup – Jamie Oliver
Don’t forget the seeds! Roasted pumpkin seeds are one of the tastiest snacks ever and nutritious so definitely shouldn’t be overloooked. If you haven’t roasted your own seeds before, then why not give it a go. All you need to do is:
- Pre-heat your oven to 220 degrees fan.
- Wash the seeds to remove the fibre, drain and pat dry. Make sure they are as dry as possible. If they are retaining water, they may not crisp.
- Take two to three tablespoons of your favourite oil (I use rapeseed) and mix in your favourite spices to tase. If you don’t want any spice, just add salt. Mix well.
- Mix the oil through your dried seeds and ensure they are evenly coated.
- Place your seeds on a baking tray. Make sure they’re evenly spread out to ensure equal cooking.
- Roast for around 45 minutes. Stir and turn them at least once in the cooking period, just to ensure even crisping. Keep an eye on them as it is easy to forget about them until its too late. They may also cook more quickly, so don’t worry if your oven means they’re ready sooner. Its not an exact science.
- Let them cook and enjoy.
Now remember, a pumpkin isn’t just for Halloween. Make the most of any leftovers on the supermarket shelves after the day itself. If they’re reduced – even better!