Pumpkins, used all over the western world on Halloween to frighten off spirits, well they have another use, in fact several uses, they can be roasted and the flesh eaten with roasted meats, made into ravioli with sage butter or a simple soup that will warm you on a cold Autumn night.
The colour is what gets me, bright orange and to see them in the shops stacked in big piles is fantastic to look at.
So do yourself a favour and pick one up and cook with it, you wont be disappointed.
Pumpkin and chilli soup....
serves six hungry people.
1kg of pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and cut into cubes
175g of onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed
25g of good Irish butter
2 sprigs of thyme
1 red chilli, de seeded and chopped
450g of ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped (or a tin of good tomatoes)
1.2 litres of chicken stock
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to season
Put the pumpkin into a pan with the onion, garlic, butter, thyme and chilli. Cover and sweat over a low heat for ten minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook out for a further ten minutes. Add in the stock, salt, pepper and nutmeg and simmer until the pumpkin is very soft. Blitz the soup, if it is very thick add more stock until smooth. Serve at once with brown bread. And if there is a spirit in your house ask if they would like to join you for some soup....
Q. tip; Butternut squash can be used instead of pumpkin.