Tag Archives: roasted pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin soup

pumpkin

So, last night was Halloween. We had bought pumpkins to carve and this one missed out on its moment in the scary  limelight.  Isn’t it beautiful? What a gorgeous blue grey it is. Then inside it looks like this:

pumpkin flesh

The contrast between the blue and orange is amazing. The skin is very tough. I got my knife stuck several times. With it being Halloween, pumpkin soup seemed appropriate. The photo is terrible, because now the clocks have gone back we have a dark house at tea time, but the colour and texture of this soup was amazing too, dark, unctuous and velvety.

Pumpkin soup

As you can see, I served it with chopped crispy bacon and roasted pumpkin seeds.  With the carving of the other pumpkins we have been eating a lot of roasted seeds lately. Butternut squash seeds are delicious roasted like this too. This soup doesn’t need adornment though, it is lovely on its own.

Pumpkins make an awful lot of soup.  I only used half of this pumpkin and it made enough for about eight helpings. Thank goodness for freezers. The rest of the pumpkin will be steamed and pureed and frozen. I plan to try making a pumpkin bread.

½ pumpkin
1 onion, diced
1 apple, cored and chopped
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
salt
pepper
water to cover

Method
Pour a couple of tablespoons of oil into  a large saucepan and add the onion and cook until translucent. Peel and dice the pumpkin and add to the pan, cook for a few minutes. Add the apple and stir. Add the turmeric and the curry powder and stir well and cook for a few minutes. Add enough water to cover the pumpkin generously and then season with salt and pepper.  Simmer for about twenty minutes until the pumpkin is tender when you insert a knife.

Blend, process or sieve the soup until smooth. Taste for seasoning and serve.

Roasted pumpkin seeds

We have had so many pumpkins in the garden this year. They have trailed themselves across paths, down walls (with the pumpkins hanging on for dear life) and jostled for space with the other veg (they have won, hands down). We have grown pumpkins for several years, but I have always  scooped the seeds out and chucked them into the chicken pot*.  What was I thinking? Roasted pumpkin seeds are delicious. The transformation is startling. If you are tempted to try a seed part of the way through cooking, when you think they might be done, you will be bitterly disappointed and think that I have gone mad telling you to make these. But if you wait until they caramelise then you will understand. Something happens in their chemistry that makes you think you added crushed chilli when you weren’t concentrating properly. Be warned, these little bites are addictive and you will find yourself cooking with pumpkin just so you can eat the roasted seeds.

This weekend, when every one will be scooping out their Halloween pumpkins, is the perfect time to enjoy these. By the way, when did we move on from scooping out swedes?

I don’t bother washing the seeds as I think bits of pumpkin flesh hanging on to them add a lot to their flavour. I scrape them out, remove most of the flesh, lay onto a lightly oiled baking tray so that they are in a single layer and sprinkle with a little more oil and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place into a preheated oven at 140°c, gas mark 1 or the simmering oven of the Aga and cook for about 30-40 minutes. Keep an eye on them as the ones at the edge of the tray may start to burn and will need stirring into the middle. When they have a good caramel brown colour all over they are ready. Leave to cool a little and then dig in.

*I probably should explain that we have a pot that sits by the side of our sink and any veg scraps get thrown into it for our brood of hungry chickens. They are now missing out on pumpkin seeds. Poor, poor chickens.