Its Hallowe’en I hear you scream…
….or if you’re anything like me, its not the ‘tricking’ and the ‘treating’ that gets you in all of a hullabaloo, but the abundant variety of ornate and unusual squash available this time of year!
Although I am grateful for the plentiful offering this yearly celebration of ghosts and ghoulies brings to shops and markets, its saddens me to see the gluttony and wastefulness that comes hand-in-hand with our modern take on this pagan tradition.
An incredible 18,000 tons of perfectly edible squash is thrown away solely in the UK just over the Hallowe’en period – unnecessary food waste of an amazingly versatile, flavoursome and nutritional vegetable.
In an attempt to dispel such wasteful behaviour, be sure to use you’re pumpkin’s insides; from its flesh all the way to its seeds. A brilliant ingredient for sweet or savoury dishes, our friends across the pond are great examples of how to use what we see purely as a waste product. From pies, to cakes and tarts, to soups and breads, the Americans sure haven’t missed a trick.
With the addition of Good Game’s pretty spicy (new!) Scotch Bonnet chorizo, this soup sure packs a punch. But if you’re struggling to get your hands on some spicy chorizo sausage, simply add the chilli yourself – not too much mind you, you don’t want to give yourself a fright!
- 1 tsp chilli oil
- 1 large white onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 50g Hot and spicy cooking chorizo (I used Good Game’s scotch bonnet chorizo – otherwise use normal cooking chorizo and add extra chilli)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 700g Squash (I used a combination of butternut, classic orange pumpkin and blue hokkaido pumpkin)
- 1 1/2 pints chicken/vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
- Handful of chopped coriander
- To server; dash of sour cream, extra chilli and a sprinkling of finely chopped chorizo
- Heat the oil in a large pan, to which the roughly chopped onion is added. Sweat down until soft before adding the garlic and cooking for a couple of minutes on a medium heat. Coarsely chop the chorizo and add to the pan (reserving a handful for serving) – continue to cook with the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes to release the chorizo oil, then sprinkle in the paprika.
- Roughly chop the squash into relatively small pieces, and put in the pan to join the onion and chorizo. Stir well to allow all the flavours and spices to coat all of the squash before pouring in the stock, ensuring it covers all of the squash (adding additional water if needed).
- Allow to simmer for around 30minutes, until the squash is soft. Season with salt and pepper, and throw in a handful of roughly chopped coriander. Take off the heat, and using a stick blender, blitz the squash until smooth and silky. Return to heat to warm through again before serving with a dash of sour cream, extra chilli and a sprinkling of finely chopped chorizo.
- Seeds from a medium pumpkin
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 dessert spoon runny honey
- 1 tsp mixed spic
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and remove any remaining fibres. Once clean, place in a pan of boiling water and simmer gently for 15minutes allowing the seeds to slightly soften.
- Pre-heat the oven to 150°c/gas 2. After 15 minutes, drain the seeds and dry thoroughly in a tea towel. In a separate bowel, combine the oil, honey and spices before adding the dried seeds – coated the seeds thoroughly.
- Spoon out onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Place in the oven for, and roast at low heat for 60 – 75 minutes. Stir every 10 – 15 minutes to completely dry the seeds. Remove the seeds once golden and allow to cool and crisp up.