This recipe is adapted from my Gram’s pumpkin pie recipe.
She was a great cook, from vegetarian meals (she used to work for the Jewish Vegetarian society), delicious wholemeal pizza and lots of cakes. She was ahead of her time in so many ways. She told me once she was the first woman on her road to wear trousers.
This is a great way to use up those Jack o’lanterns – yes the bigger pumpkins aren’t as tasty but they absorb flavours so it’s what you cook them with that counts.
You will need…
1 pumpkin, about 1kg whole or 400g flesh
Half a teaspoon cinnamon
Quarter of a teaspoon nutmeg
Half a teaspoon ground ginger
Half a teaspoon ground cloves or two whole cloves
250g ground almonds
80g organic unsaltedbutter
Pinch of salt
180ml organic single cream
3 medium organic eggs
100g maple syrup
Heat oven to 180 degrees c /160 degrees c fan oven / gas mark 4 / 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Cut and peel the pumpkin removing all seeds.
Either steam or cook in a little water for 10 minutes until soft with the whole cloves embedded in a piece or two to infuse.
Mash it up and put to one side too cool.
Melt the butter in a pan.
Pour over the ground almonds.
Add a pinch of salt.
our the mixture into a flan dish or cake dish press well into the dish and up the sides ensuring its all covered evenly.
If you have a little rolling pin that can help for the base.
Bake in oven for 6 minutes.
Take out of the oven a cool in the fridge.
Remove the cloves from the pumpkin.
Blend it well.
Add the cream, eggs maple syrup and spices mixing well.
Pour into the pastry case.
Bake in the middle of the oven until the filling has set.
Allow to cool and serve with cream, half fat creme friache or Greek yogurt.
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.
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.
Before you make the soup – don’t forget to get creative …
Pumpkin and red lentil soup
Prep time: about 40 minutes
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
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.
Nutrition: 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