Delicious Pumpkin Recipes

Posted on: 16 October 2009 by Mark O'haire

Woefully underrated, this seasonal vegetable will bring a splash of autumn colour to your dinner table.

In abundance at this time of year, pumpkins can be a mainstay of winter with their hardy thick skins enabling them to be stored for many months. 

With their sweet yet subtle flavour and beautiful orange hue reminiscent of autumn they deserve a better press, and can be guaranteed to a bring hearty warming meal to the table.

Pumpkin & Orange Soup 

Photographed above, this is an amber-coloured, velvety soup with just a hint of orange. Serve it for lunch with some warm Irish soda bread or as a starter when entertaining with a spoonful of crème fraiche and some toasted pumpkin seeds on top. 

Ingredients

  • 375g pumpkin, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 150g carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 300g onion, roughly chopped
  • 1.3 litres good chicken or vegetable stock
  • 100g red lentils
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 large orange 

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients except the orange in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently on the hob for 20-25 minutes or until all the vegetables are very tender.
  2. Leave the soup to cool slightly before pureeing in a blender or food processor. Stir in the grated orange rind and juice and adjust seasoning to taste.

Tips

  • Try adding 1 tsp of mild curry paste to the vegetables before cooking for a hint of spice.
  • Use butternut squash when pumpkin is out of season.
  • Serve the soup with a little crumbled blue cheese stirred in.
  • For a chunkier soup just puree half and return to the pan.
  • Replace some or all of the onion with leeks.


Pumpkin RisottoSpicy Pumpkin Risotto 

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red birds eye chilli, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 1 small pumpkin (approx 1kg), peeled and diced into 2cm pieces
  • 100ml white wine
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Fry the onion in a wide pan for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Stir in the chilli and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute.

2. Add the rice and turn in the oil until all the grains are coated.

3. Stir in the pumpkin, add the wine and bring to the boil. Add the hot stock, 2 ladles at a time and allow to be absorbed by the rice before adding more. Stir frequently over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the rice is tender and all the stock is absorbed. The rice should still have a slight ‘bite’.

4. Mix in the Parmesan and seasoning, spoon into large bowls and serve immediately with extra grated Parmesan.

Alternatives

  • If you cannot get hold of pumpkin, you can use butternut squash in its place.
  • This pumpkin risotto is also delicious with the addition of fried crispy bacon pieces scattered over the top just before serving.


Pumpkin SaladPumpkin & Chorizo Salad 

Put seasonal pumpkin to innovative use in this colourful and healthy salad. It’s great served warm, but any leftovers can be stored in the fridge overnight and served chilled.  

Ingredients

  • 1kg pumpkin
  • 200g chorizo sausage, in one piece
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp hot sweet chilli sauce
  • 150g mangetout, trimmed and halved lengthways
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 25g pumpkin seeds

Method

1. Cut the pumpkin into small chunks, discarding the skin and seeds. Cut the chorizo into small dice.

2. Mix together 1 tbsp of oil, lemon juice and chilli sauce.

3. Blanch the mangetout in boiling water for 1 minute. Refresh in a colander under cold running water and drain.

4. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the pumpkin for 5 minutes, stirring. Add the chorizo and fry gently for a further 6-8 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.

5. Add the cherry tomatoes and mangetout and mix together, heating for 1 minute. Turn into a salad bowl, pour over the dressing and toss the ingredients together. Serve scattered with pumpkin seeds.

Tips

  • Lightly cooked sugar snap peas or fresh peas make a good substitute for the mangetout.
  • For a herb flavoured dressing mix chopped herbs such as chives, coriander, and parsley and use instead of the chilli sauce.

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