It is Halloween and the shops are full of scary costumes, frightening masks, Halloween treats ….and pumpkins. As someone who is always looking for easy, tasty recipes my thoughts started working on different ways I could cook this wonderful vegetable (well... fruit, actually, officially, if the truth be known, because the seeds are inside it. )
I bought a pumpkin from Exeter Real Food Store and have been busy making pumpkin recipes ever since!(or so it seems...). It is amazing how many meals you can get out of one large pumpkin!
But of course I know that largely, although the pumpkins are in the fruit and vegetable sections of the shops, they are not there as food but to make Halloween decorations, specifically a jack o lantern. So I wondered whether there was anyone else, like me, was a bit perturbed at the sheer waste of food Halloween has the potential to cause. Is it considered a bit petty to moan about such things?
I did a search on the internet and was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of articles from both sides of the pond, which were encouraging people to consider being more aware about how they use their pumpkin.
Broadly the messages are:-
Eat the Flesh of Pumpkins - In the UK up to a million pumpkins go to waste each year because they are used only as decprations - that's a lot of food waste in these hard-up times!
Compost the waste - Many of these pumpkins end up in landfill, when they could far more usefully be composted and put some of their goodness back in the earth.
Buy local - If at all possible, buy your pumpkins from a local supplier rather than the supermarket, to help local people and the local economy. In Exeter we are blessed with several local suppliers including the Real Food Store in Paris Street
A large pumpkin can be used for 3 or 4 meals – soup, stews, curries and risottos can all be made with this versatile vegetable. Pumpkin flesh cooks easily and quickly. It has a mild flavour but can be livened up with herbs and spices. Celebrate Halloween not only with a carved out Jack O Lantern but with some exciting new dishes!.
Pumpkin And Red Pepper Soup Recipe
The pumpkin and pepper are roasted first to bring out their full sweetness and depth of flavour. The soup is a wonderful colour and it will warm up your insides, and give you an inner glow - especially after an autumn walk
You will need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
750g / 1.5lb pumpkin, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
750ml vegetable stock
2 teaspoons paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C
Arrange the pumpkin pieces and red pepper slices on a baking or roasting dish
Carefully drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the pepper and pumpkin and stir a little to ensure even coverage
Put the tray in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and starting to char slightly
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the remaining oil
Add the onions and cook until starting to go soft
Add the pepper and pumpkin pieces and cook for a further 3 minutes
Add the stock
Sprinkle on the paprika and cayenne pepper
Bring the mixture back to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes
Process in a liquidizer, until smooth
Put back in the saucepan, reheat and serve immediately with crusty bread
Member since: 25th October 2011
I am the founder and author of http://PennysRecipes.com. I am mostly found either cooking or writing about cooking. Member of Transition Exeter