While many pumpkins are bought for carving purposes, there are actually plenty of ways to reuse the versatile squash – including their flesh and seeds!
Make the most of seasonal squash in the early autumn and try a spicy pumpkin soup. You can toast the seeds, too, and add as a topping!
1 pumpkin, about 1.5-2kg (save the seeds – toast them in a dry pan to serve)
1tbsp garam masala
2tsp ground coriander
2tsp ground cumin
½-1tsp chilli flakes or powder, plus a pinch
3tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
900ml veg stock
100ml double cream or crème fraiche, plus extra to serve
STEP 1: Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds with a spoon (see tip below). Cut into wedges or chunks (keep the skin on) and tip into a bowl. Put the garam masala, and 1 tsp each of the coriander and cumin into a small bowl and mix with 2 tbsp of the oil and season. Drizzle over the pumpkin and toss well to coat in the spiced oil. Transfer to a baking tray, spread out evenly and roast for 40-45 mins, turning halfway through cooking, until the pumpkin is very soft when pierced with a fork. Leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes.
STEP 2: Heat the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion with a pinch of salt for 10 mins until soft. Add the ginger, garlic and remaining spices and chilli flakes, and fry for a few more minutes until fragrant. Pour in the stock and bring to a gentle simmer.
STEP 3: When the pumpkin is cool enough to touch, use a spoon to scoop the soft flesh from the skins. Add the soft pumpkin to the stock pan, discarding the skins. Remove from the heat and blitz the soup with a hand blender until creamy and smooth. Season to taste, adding extra chilli or garam masala if you like. Put back over a low heat and stir in the cream. Bring to a gentle simmer, then serve in bowls with a drizzle more cream and a pinch of chilli to serve. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds, if you like.
Wash the seeds well and remove any strings and flesh. Dry, and toss in oil and any spices you like. Transfer to a baking tray and toast in a hot oven for 10-15 mins until golden and crisp. Use to scatter over the soup, or salads. Will keep for a week in an airtight container.