Halloween is a bit of a bore but you know the one good thing about this season?
Pumpkins. Pumpkins everywhere.
Pumpkins are truly delicious vegetables which deserve to be loved for months at a time and yet are only really consumed during October. And even then, loads of people carve them and then bin them without even considering giving them a little nibble.
And that’s so dumb because not only do they make incredibly tasty alternatives to roast potatoes, blend into delicious soup, make the best pies, but they’re also spectacularly good for you.
Health benefits of pumpkin
- Packed with potassium which helps you recover after a workout thanks to an influx of electrolytes
- Full of beta-carotene which is a powerful antioxidant which can protect against heart disease, cancer and asthma
- Rich in vitamin A – excellent for eye health
- Supposedly helps with weight loss because it’s very low calorie and quite dense
- Pumpkin seeds are rich in phytosterols, chemicals which have been shown to reduce bad cholesterol
Basically, we should be shoving as much of the stuff down our gullets while we can.
And here is the most simple recipe for pumpkin soup you can imagine – perfect for wintery nights when you get home late and pissed off from work and just need a bowl of something comforting:
Almond milk (or any kind of milk)
2 garlic cloves
1 chilli (or more, whatever)
Salt and pepper
Peel your pumpkin, take the innards out and cut into small cubes.
Get a tray and spread out some baking parchment before laying the seeds from inside out, sprinkle a pinch of brown sugar and salt over them and then put into the oven on a low heat.
Bang your cubes of pumpkin flesh in a big saucepan with a glug of olive oil and leave them on a low heat for about eight minutes. So to confirm, don’t boil it – you’re softly frying it.
They should be getting quite soft so at this point, pour in a good dose of your milk – it depends on how thin you want your soup but I’d say you want about an inch of milk in the pan. You can always add more later.
Season and leave to simmer until the pieces of pumpkin really are soft. Chop your chilli and add into the pan.
Then put the lot in a blender and whizz up.
Et voila – pumpkin soup.
Take out your seeds which should be nice and crispy and sprinkle on top of your soup for a bit of crunch.
Alternatively, keep some of your pumpkin cubes and put them into the oven as you would potatoes and let them crisp up and then add them on top for some extra texture in your soup.