Pick up a pumpkin

I know, I know, this time of year there are so many recipes for pumpkin soup and pictures of creatively carved pumpkins. As well as giving you a super easy recipe – its extra nutritious as i’ve included red lentils to add a little protein and minerals, and there’s info on where you can pick your own in Dorset.

So first you’ve got to choose your pumpkin. We are lucky enough to live up the road from Sopley pick your own farm.

Pumpkins as far as the eye can see
My daughter didn’t pick the biggest she could find but sensibly went for one more her size – this beauty cost us all of £1.30. And if you don’t feel like trudging out to the field you can always choose one from the farm shop.


Pumpkins are not the only veg
Pumpkins are not the only veg

Before you make the soup – don’t forget to get creative …

Spooky pumpkin




Pumpkin and red lentil soup

Pumpkin and red lentil soup

Prep time: about 40 minutes
Serves: 6-8


1 pumpkin
2 onions
1 crushed garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 stock cubes mixed with 1-1.5 litres of water (low salt stock cubes are good for young children)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds or ground cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds (ground in a pestle or between greaseproof paper with a rolling pin!) or ground coriander
100-200g red lentils

How to…

  • Peel and cube the pumpkin.
  • Dice the onion and fry in a big saucepan in the olive oil with the garlic.
  • When the onion is soft and translucent add the pumpkin and stir well.
  • Add the coriander and cumin, stir and continue to fry for about 5 mins.
  • Add the red lentils (100g for a small pumpkin 200g for a larger one) stir and fry for a few more minutes then add the made up stock – 1ltr for a smaller pumpkin 1.5 litres for a bigger one.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes and then blend.
  • Serve with bread
  • It tastes even better the next day (will last up to about 3-4 days in the fridge), you can freeze it too.

Cost: For a big pumpkin soup the cost is £3.77, each 250ml portion costs 38p.

For a 5 year old, a 250ml portion of soup has:
Just under half of their recommended daily iron
Almost three quarters of their daily recommended Vitamin A
Nearly a quarter of their daily recommended folate
Just over 10% of their recommended calcium
1 quarter of their daily magnesium

Postscript 31 October 2012

We didn’t get to Sopley farm until today and there were hardly any pumpkins left. Still, we managed to find these out in the field…


They only cost £2.70.

This year I’ve gone for smaller pumpkins as they have better flavour.

I’ve made the soup with the pumpkin flesh I scraped out and my husband’s got a roasted pumpkin and pasta recipe from the BBC website that he’ll make from the whole pumpkins. You can also make a lovely pumpkin pie with the flesh, click here for my one for gluten free, lower sugar pumpkin pie


4 thoughts on “Pick up a pumpkin

  1. deb smith

    OO yummy – can’t wait to make it! Will give a try over the weekend. Really lovely blog Annie. Will defo be following this one!

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