Having parents who grew up in the war (that would be the second world war, oh younger readers) makes it impossible for me to waste anything. With a bit of ingenuity anyone can achieve wizard status with leftovers. With a bit of forethought nothing gets wasted although we do not go so far as an elderly cousin of mine who had a box labeled “bits of string to short to be useful”. But I digress…. It always struck me as inane to waste an entire pumpkin when making a jack-o-lantern. Of course we all roast the seeds (don’t we? Put seeds on a baking tray, add a little splash of olive oil and sprinkle of salt. Heat the oven up to 400 F/200 C and put in the tray.
Turn the oven off and leave over night.) but do we all actually carve most of the flesh out of the pumpkin before carving it? Of course you don’t want to take ALL the flesh out or the pumpkin will not stand up but you can take A LOT of the flesh out and then the pumpkin has an even more ghostly glow with the light shining through the entire globe and not just out of the holes. So, yes, do carve out the flesh of the pumpkin before you carve your jack-o-lantern. Better jack-o-lantern, great pumpkin soup and no waste. Win win, win!
Pumpkin and Yellow Lentil Soup
|Meal type||Cumin, Pumpkin|
- The flesh of one big pumpkin
- 2 cups of yellow lentils (or yellow split peas if you cannot get yellow lentils)
- Vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- Good pinch of dry, flaked chilli
- Small handful of dried curry leaves
|1||Heat up the oven to 400 F/200 C.|
|2||Put the carved-out pieces of pumpkin on a greased baking tray, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on top.|
|3||Roast the pumpkin for one hour. If it gets too brown cover it up with some aluminum foil.|
|4||While the pumpkin is cooking, put the lentils in a big saucepan and cover them with water. Just let them soak.|
|5||When the pumpkin is done, scrape it all out into the pot with the lentils and then cover the whole lot with vegetable stock.|
|6||Bring to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until the lentils are done. Just give them a little bite. They should not be chalky.|
|7||Add more liquid if necessary to get soup consistency (rather than baby food) as the lentils can be very absorbent.|
|8||Top tip: as the oven is at 400 F/200 C this is the perfect time to put in the pumpkin seeds. Pop them in and turn the oven off. They will roast beautifully and will not burn.|
|9||In a separate little pot, heat up the 2 T of olive oil and add the mustard seeds. After a minute or so they will pop (much like popcorn).|
|10||At that point, remove the pot from the heat and add in the cumin seeds, chili flakes, and curry leaves. Give it a swirl and then pour and scrape it into the soup pot.|
Give the soup a big stir and then serve it! It is particularly good with Danish Rye as the slight sweetness of the bread compliments the spicy soup.
If, however, you don’t want to make the Danish rye, you can bake these super simple buns.