Pumpkins deserve more than to just be carved and discarded. Sure they are great jack o lanterns at Halloween, but they can be so much more. Their lovely inner flesh is both tasty and nutritious - full of betacarotene that serves as an anti-oxidant. What's more, if you take the extra bit of time to make a soup and roast the seeds, you will feel better for being a friend of the environment and preventing food waste. Here is a delicious recipe that adds some zing to the pumpkin and is a great healthy alternative to the usual cream based soups.
1kg of carved pumpkin flesh cut in chunks
1 400g can coconut milk
500 ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 red onions, roughly chopped
2 tsps red chilli flakes
3 sprigs of thyme
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8.
Take the inner flesh out of the pumpkin along with the seeds.
In a colander, wash them off, seperate the seeds and dry them. Cut the flesh into big chunks.
Toss the seeds in butter with some salt and pepper and roast them until browned in the oven.
Put the remaining pumpkin into a roasting tin with the thyme and toss in oil.
Season with sea salt and ground black pepper and roast for 45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.
In a large pot, heat a drop of oil and fry the onions until they are soft.
Stir in chilli flakes and fry for a further minute. Remove the thyme and add the roast pumpkin to the pot, with the coconut milk and vegetable stock.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then puree.
If necessary, add stock or boiling water until the desired consistency is reached.