Happy Halloween, everyone.
Two new pumpkins joined the above fireplace scene on Sunday afternoon. A carving kit was purchased too, but, alas, one of the pumpkins was manky and after delving into its slimy depths, I didn’t feel like doing anything spooky with it. It was Sunday night, I’d had a Halloween biscuit disaster (more of which later) and I lost the fight to carve.
So I made a soup instead. With the help of the BF.
I came in to the kitchen to discover Julian had done the hard work and the pumpkin was in skinless chunks. I don’t think it was a pain-free endeavour, however.
(I have found this massively handy hint for preparing a pumpkin for future: cut it up like you do a cantaloupe melon. Half it, scoop out the seeds and slimy stuff, then cut it into wedges. Run the knife between the rind and the meat to remove skin, then dice. Woop.)
Then I set about making a pumpkin and brown rice soup, adapted from lovely recipe I found on 101 Cookbooks.
Here is what you need:
1 1/2 pounds pumpkin/squash flesh, seeded, peeled, and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Half or full red chili chopped
Cooked brown rice
Here is what you do:
Start cooking your rice; it takes 30 mins+, I realised to my woe on Sunday . This was the first time I’d ever cooked rice. Not sure I’m keen on the admin.
Next, in a big soup pan, fry the onion and chili in the butter for five mins – or until nice and soft.
Then add pumpkin/squash cubes and four cups of water.
Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender throughout – about 15 to 20 minutes. Keep a check on it, basically.
Remove soup from heat when done, add the ginger and some sea salt, and puree with a hand blender until smooth (I bought a Kenwood immersion blender on Sunday because I’m rock ‘n’ roll, and it’s ace).
If you want thinner soup, add a bit more water after blending, then stir in more salt to taste.
Now, add a nice hump of rice to a bowl and sprinkle with seeds, ladle in your soup, then dollop on some Greek yogurt.
Now, make yourself a toasted cheese sandwich, using strong cheddar, and pour yourself a glass of cold white wine.
Sit down and eat.
Mmm, creamy soup with a little bit of heat, cooled down with the yogurt and made even nicer with the addition of wine.
I will be doing this again. And with Halloween a thing of the past after tomorrow, maybe there’ll be a big sale on pumpkins and squashes. I’m going to really let my gourd down (gourd is a type of pumpkin, I recently discovered).
In other news, I made some dry-as-old-bones Halloween biscuits. See beginning and end process, below.
I will not waste your time with the recipe I found lurking in an old cookery magazine – and which basically involved lots of butter, flour, and sugar – because the end results were the biscuit version of this, Heston’s new discovery.
The biscuits had a happy ending, however. I took them into work, essentially to throw them away in the work dustbin, but my beloved try-anything-once colleagues ate ’em all up. Some lovely girls even said they were tasty (while gulping down water).
My fearless work pals will be coughing up biscuit dust for the rest of the week.
Pumpkin and rice soup stats:
Kitchen cock-ups: There would have been oh-so-many if I’d carved the pumpkin myself before finding that handy how-to-guide… As it was, it all went quite smoothly.
As for the biscuits: I will follow a better recipe next time.
Listened to: Chill FM. It was Sunday!