Do you know why pumpkins are carved every year during Halloween? This practice originated in Ireland whereby on "All Hallow's Eve" a pumpkin was carved and left on the doorstep to ward off evil spirits. Traditionally a face was carved on a swede or turnip and often lit for display but pumpkins are now used as they are more readily available and easier to carve.
Homemade pumpkin and sweetcorn soup
For the roasted pumpkin seeds
2. In a large non-stick pot over a low heat, melt the butter and add the onions. Cook the onions for 8-10 minutes, until they are softened and golden brown.
3. Add the chopped pumpkin, along with the sweetcorn, cinnamon and nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper. Put the lid on and allow the pumpkin chunks to sweat gently and release their juices. This should take about 10 minutes.
4. Pour in the milk and stock and gently simmer for 20-30 minutes. Put the lid on but leave a little gap (so it's slightly ajar). Stir ocassionally.
5. For the roasted pumpkin seeds, first separate the seeds from the pulp and strings and rinse them under cold water. Pat them dry with a cloth and place in a dry bowl. Add the olive oil and salt and stir to coat. Place the pumpkin seeds on a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven (160°C). Do keep an eye after 10 minutes as you just want to lightly roast them as overroasting destroys some of their nutritive value.
6. The soup is now ready to be served. However, if you prefer to have no bits in your soup at all, then pour the soup into a blender or food processor and blend it to a puree. Remember to remove the cinnamon stick beforehand.
7. Serve the soup in warm bowls with pumpkin seeds sprinkled over.
Good comfort food