Have you ever grown anything from seed? If you have, you will remember the excitement, anticipation and hope of planting a seed, especially a pumpkin or squash seed! You watch the seeds germinate and grow into these tiny and lanky plants. They will slowly turn into big, colourful globes over the summer.
Sadly, we didn’t grow any pumpkins this year, but went pumpkin picking instead! The farm that we went to was huge and there were literally thousands of pumpkins of different shapes, colours and sizes strewn around. It was Pumpkin Heaven!
Pumpkins and squashes can be turned into so many dishes, sweet and savoury. I love roasting pumpkins, because it really brings out their full flavour and sweetness.
My daughter Sophia really loves soups, so I often make them. I have this failsafe recipe for a vegetable and coconut soup, which uses up any vegetables you have, and it ALWAYS tastes delicious! I have adopted it years ago from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s cookbook ‘River Cottage Veg everyday!’ (2011).
Save the flesh
This soup is easy and quick to make, and only has a few ingredients. Pumpkin is the main ingredient, but you can also use a butternut squash, sweet potatoes or any other veg you have.
If you have a large pumpkin that you’re carving for Halloween, don’t discard the flesh, use it for this soup! You can roast and eat the seeds, too, so nothing is wasted. Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween, remember!
- 700g of peeled and diced pumpkin
- 1 onion, diced
- 1-2 table spoons ground cumin
- 70g red split lentils, washed
- 600ml vegetable or chicken stock (I use a stock powder)
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tin of coconut milk
- 1 table spoon of mixed herbs
- Olive oil, salt and black pepper
- Chopped coriander (optional)
- Fry the onion in some olive oil until translucent.
- Add the cumin and the mixed herbs and cook for couple of minutes.
- Stir in the pumpkin and let it cook for 5 minutes in the onion and spice mixture.
- Add the lentils and cook for couple of minutes.
- Add enough of the stock to cover the pumpkin and onion mixture. You don’t want to much water, just enough to let the pumpkin cook, you can add some more later.
- Season with some salt and pepper.
- Bring to boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until pumpkin is soft and breaks easily.
- Once cooked, take the pot off the heat and use a hand blender to liquidise in the pot.
- Add the coconut milk and bring to a gentle boil.
- Take off the heat and add the lime juice.
Ready to eat
Sprinkle with some chopped coriander and squeeze more lime juice into the bowl. Lime juice is an important ingredient here! It really brings out the pumpkin and coconut flavour of the soup. Make sure that you don’t skip it.
When I made this soup last time, Sophia had 2 helpings and when her bowl was nearly empty she threw the spoon on the floor and lifted up the bowl to lick out the leftovers. The soup was all over her face. That’s one happy customer!
Enjoy the soup and let me know if you have any questions.