Sunday, 11 October 2009

Celebrating Autumn: The Pumpkin

First of all, I love pumpkins! This is what it will say on my grave...or at least in my post-mortem biography.

I love everything about pumpkins: the colors, the shape, the smells and the tastes. And most of all I love the fact that so few people in Europe know what to do with pumpkins which makes them at cheap and, at the same time, exotic food.

There are many pumpkin varieties but here in Denmark you can only buy two kinds of pumpkins, the halloween kind (they are destined to end up as jack-o-lanterns) and the hokkaido. The former one is watery, large and very cheap and is perfect for pumpkin curry soup (recipe below) and the later is more expensive but sweet and is prefered for the pies.

So, the other week I took a trip to a place called Bazaar (a topic for whole other post) and bought myself some pumpkin, Baby! And here is what I did with it.

Jack-O-Lantern/Halloween Pumpkin Preparation

1. Cut pumpkin in half and remove the seed nest with a spoon
2. Roast it in the oven, skin up, for 1h at 180C - remember to roast pumpkin in a deep dish. It will give out a lot of juice and can flood your oven otherwise.
3. After an hour check if the pulp is soft and let the pumpkin cool down
4. Scoop out the pumpkin pulp, divide it in portions and freeze for further use

Sweet and Spicy: Pumpkin Curry Soup

You will need:
- pumpkin pulp
- curry powder (or ingredients for curry powder)
- olive oil
- onion - sliced
- 2 carrots - sliced
- 2 potatoes - sliced
- you can also use other root vegetables such as celeriac or parsnip
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat up the oil in a large pot, add curry powder and let it fry for 2 minutes
2. Lower the heat to medium and add onions
3. When onions are glossy add carrots and potatoes (and any other roots) and steer well
4. Add pumpkin pulp
5. Add water and boil till the vegetables are soft
6. Blend the soup and spice it to taste (cayenne pepper fits well with this soup)

You might also want to add some vegetable stock with the water. You can also use fresh (not roasted) pumpkin - in that case cut pumpkin in smaller pieces and remember that it will take a little but longer to boil until soft.

Serve with roasted pumpkin seeds or garlic bread croƻtons (mhhhmmm).

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