Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 30 October 2015

Lantern Leftovers

Lantern leftovers: Moroccan Pumpkin Soup

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)

The picture on the World Vision recipe card

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.


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the shallots and garlic until soft
  2. Add the chilli, cinnamon, ginger and cumin seeds, and stir until fragrant (around 1 minute)
  3. Add the carrots, pumpkin and split peas to the pan and stir to coat with the other ingredients
  4. 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
  5. Remove from the heat, discard the cinnamon stick and add the lemon juice
  6. Process the soup with a stick blender until smooth
  7. 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.


  1. That sounds really yummy! And I'm sure the kitchen must have smelled wonderful with all the spices!

    1. It did Pauline! I've used ground coriander seed in the past, which gives a gentler, orange-like flavour, but I like the spiciness of this soup. It's particularly good if you find your chosen pumpkin variety is a bit bland. Roasting the pumpkin first also helps lift the flavour if needed.

  2. This looks like a really yummy recipe Michelle. I hope to try it over the next week, will let you know how it goes. Glad you like my quote about pumpkins for eating... :)

    1. Looking forward to hearing how you got on - it's really delicious Gwenfar. I'd been mulling things over for a couple of days and your tweet was instrumental in helping my random musings gel into this post. Thank you :)

  3. That sounds like a tasty warming pumpkin soup, from a vegetable that can be a little bland. Youngest daughter made a very nice chutney one year following a halloween carving session.

    1. Yes, I've found it can be a little bland - this recipe spices things up nicely!

  4. I have never bought a pumpkin to carve as a Halloween lantern, but I'm glad to see the emphasis this year on thinking of them as food as well as decoration. Your pumpkin soup recipe sounds yummy!

    1. It is Emma, though I think you'll need to omit the Greek yoghurt. It'll still be tasty!


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