Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins. What a weird tradition - where does it come from? Well, the carving of "jack-o-lanterns" was first recorded in American in 1837, and it stems from the Samhain custom of carving turnips (how glamorous) into lanterns to remember the souls held in purgatory. Of course...
Because the funny round pumpkins are larger and easier to carve, the crafty Americans changed things up a bit, and nowadays pumpkins are all the rage come 31 October every year.
So, they're funny looking and good for cutting into scary Halloween faces but nothing else, right?
Pumpkins can make lovely soups, stews and other meals. They're similar in texture to a butternut squash, which are all the rage these days, though perhaps not quite as sweet. So this Halloween, when you're shopping for the perfect Halloween decoration, why not bag another to cook up a delightful Halloween soup?
Note: once carved and left in the open air for 24 hours, pumpkins can be unsafe to eat. For this recipe you'll need a fresh pumpkin, so buy two!
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins
Can be warmed from frozen if using vegetable stock
• 4 Tbsp olive oil
• 2 onions, finely chopped
• 1kg pumpkins (butternut squash is also great), peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks
• 700ml vegetable stock or chicken stock
• Salt & pepper
• 142ml double cream
• 4 slices wholemeal seeded bread
• Handful pumpkin seeds from a packet (or see article #3 for how to use the seeds from your pumpkin)
1. Heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large saucepan, then cook the onions over a gentle heat for 5 mins.
2. Add pumpkin chunks and cook for a further 10 mins, turning occasionally until golden.
3. Add the stock, and season with salt & pepper to taste. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 mins, or until the pumpkin is very soft.
4. Add the double cream, bring back to the boil the puree in a food blender or with a hand blender.If you want your soup extra smooth you can also push it through a sieve into another pan.
5. Serve with the slices of bread, either buttered, or cut into croutons and fried in the remaining 2 Tbsp of oil. If doing the latter, remove the bread when it's crisp and add the pumpkin seeds to the pan, cooking for 2 mins until they are toasted. Use as garnish.
About the Author
Jude Ellery was the web manager of Fancy Dress Party Ideas, a UK site selling cheap fancy dress online. The site as of 2015 is no longer active.
Source: Articles Factory
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