I’m not a big fan of Halloween, or Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, in fact I really don’t like the way it’s so commercialised. Traditionally it was a time for parties with games like bobbing for apples, and lanterns made from swedes or mangelwurzels, or even large turnips. It was a time for spooky stories and games like ‘murder’ – a great inspiration for stories from writers such as Agatha Christie! In the USA Halloween is very different, and ideas such as trick or treating and dressing up and trailing round the streets have become the thing here too. I hate it.
However, because of that pumpkins are now grown on many farms and they are everywhere, as well as other squashes. This means even if you don’t want to carve a lantern, you can look out recipes and make all sorts of autumnal things to warm and cheer.
Here’s a very easy Australian recipe for pumpkin soup from Shirley Elsden, no known relative but just with the same name!
Pumpkin onion soup
- 1½ lbs pumpkin, no skin, no seeds, roughly cut into chunks
- 2 leeks or 2 large onions, roughly sliced
- ¾ lb potatoes, cut into chunks
- 4 cups of chicken stock
- salt and pepper
- ½ cream
- put everything except the cream in a large pan and simmer uncovered for 25 mins or until all the vegetables are soft
- blend until very smooth (you could rub it through a seive as well, maybe, if you like it really velvety)
- return to the pan, add the cream, stir well and simmer gently for 5 mins,
- check seasoning and serve with a swirl of cream and chopped parsley