I love carving pumpkins — except it’s always bothered me I am buying a huge vegetable, setting it outside for a few days, then throwing it away.
Inspiration hit when a friend explained “refrigerator soup,” made from whatever veg was discovered stuck down the back of the fridge and a little past its prime. If this soup works for slightly saggy veg, couldn’t it work for my old pumpkins too?
There are a gazillion easy recipes online and any of them will work. This is one I made by combining a couple recipes with vegetables I thought I’d like to eat together. It’s got a warm, slightly spicy flavour, perfect for cold autumn mornings.
You will need:
- 1 small pumpkin
- ½ a red bell pepper
- ½ a yellow bell pepper
- About 400ml veg or chicken stock (or 2 stock cubes)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp chilli powder (to taste)
- ½ tsp allspice
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Start by cutting and skinning the pumpkin. I found it easiest to cut it into chunks first, then remove the skin. Remove any of the weird stringy bits that are still there. Discard anything that’s burned or anything that’s gone soggy. Dry or hard parts are fine.
- Add the pumpkin and everything else — the peppers, the stock and spices — to a saucepan. Fill with enough water to cover the veg. Make sure the water covers the veg but don’t over-do it or you’ll spend more time reducing it down later.
- Bring it to boil, simmer for a 15 minutes — or until pumpkin bits are mashable. Allow to cool for five minutes.
- If you have a blender, it’s time to get your puree on. If you don’t, get out your potato masher and give your veg a soupy consistency. (You can also simply leave it on the oven or in a slow cooker until the veg has fallen apart.)
- Pour soup back into the saucepan and bring to a low simmer, stirring regularly. Give it a taste and adjust spices as needed.
- Let simmer uncovered 35 minutes, or until the soup’s reached the desired consistency.
EAT! This soup can also be kept refrigerated or frozen, although I strongly recommend freezing individual portions because thawing a huge block of soup-ice when you just want one mug is a bitch.
Make use of your jack-o-lanterns and enjoy a cool October night.