I'm feeding our neighbours' cat this week, so I've had plenty of time to preview their pumpkin lanterns set out in the garden ready for Halloween. That got me thinking: if the nation's lantern innards were gathered together, they'd probably form a small mountain or three.
How timely. World Vision contacted me this week with news of their Carve a Heart campaign, designed to create a gentler, more caring side to this year's Halloween shenanigans. Their pack includes a recipe for Moroccan Pumpkin Soup - a delicious way of using up those lantern leftovers, or in my case the solitary pumpkin harvested from my plot this year.
As Julieanne wisely said on Twitter: "Pumpkins are for eating, not just for lanterns".
Moroccan Pumpkin Soup
These are tweaked slightly from the original recipe to fit with what I had to hand.
60ml olive oil
100g shallots, peeled and sliced thinly (or a small onion, or 1 leek)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small red chilli (from my Chilly Chilli Challenge), seeds removed and finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
2 carrots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
1.5 kg pumpkin flesh coarsely chopped
70g yellow split peas
1½ litres water
Juice of ½ a lemon (microwaved on High for 10 secs to release the juice)
To Serve (serves 6)
A large dollop of Greek yoghurt
A sprinkle of pumpkin seeds
This topping was served by the Garden Museum cafe on their yummy butternut squash soup recently. The World Vision recipe card suggests a sprig of coriander instead, and strangely no yoghurt even though something similar is shown in the photograph.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the shallots and garlic until soft
- Add the chilli, cinnamon, ginger and cumin seeds, and stir until fragrant (around 1 minute)
- Add the carrots, pumpkin and split peas to the pan and stir to coat with the other ingredients
- Add the water to the pan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 50 minutes, or until the split peas are soft
- Remove from the heat, discard the cinnamon stick and add the lemon juice
- Process the soup with a stick blender until smooth
- Serve immediately whilst warm, with a large dollop of Greek yoghurt and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds added to each bowl
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If you're looking for a main dish instead or you have even more lantern leftovers, you could adapt my Butternut Squash Risotto recipe to suit your needs.