Who loves pumpkin?

If you were a clever gardener who planted pumpkin seeds at the end of last year then you are likely to have a garden full of these delicious fruits ready to eat right now.

Pumpkins are members of the same family as zucchini, gourd, squash and cucumber. Technically a fruit, pumpkins have been in cultivation for more than 5000 years. Planted in September / October (after the last frost) they are usually ready to harvest any time from April onwards, depending on growing conditions. Soil needs to be around 20 degrees in order for the pumpkin to grow well.

 

Once harvested, store pumpkins in a cool, dry and well-ventilated spot in your kitchen or shed. Too much heat will cause the pumpkin to age and rot relatively quickly. Make sure that the stalk of the pumpkin is still intact in order for it to dry properly.

Pumpkins are high in vitamin A.  Pumpkin seeds are also very nutritious and can be dried and eaten.  They contain high levels of protein and iron.

delicious home made pumpkin soup

Pumpkin Soup

  1.  Use a large heavy base saucepan
  2. Chop finely onion and garlic
  3. Use a dash of good olive oil in the base of the pan
  4. Gently cook the onion and garlic until onion is transparent.  Take care not to burn the garlic
  5. Cut pumpkin into pieces
  6. Place into saucepan with a cup of good stock
  7. Slowly simmer until pumpkin is soft.
  8. Depending on your preferences you can use a hand blender to blend the soup or you can leave it “chunky”
  9. Serve with good bread and a dollop of sour cream