Autumnal treats - the trick to using pumpkin in a recipe

Autumn has arrived – cue Sunday afternoons crunching through mounds of multi-coloured leaves and cosy evenings by the fire. And with Halloween just around the corner, we think it’s the perfect excuse to indulge in some delicious seasonal dishes.

Nothing says Halloween like carving a pumpkin, but why not use them for something other than spooky décor? We’ll be trying out these perfect pumpkin dishes this week – why don’t you join us? No tricks, only treats…we promise!

Starter: Easy pumpkin soup

This simply scrumptious soup is a quick and easy way of using up your recently-carved pumpkins, and makes seven to ten servings – perfect for an autumnal dinner party!

Ingredients

  • 1kg pumpkin purée
  • 5 litres of chicken stock
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 125ml whipping cream
  • 5 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh parsley
  • Half a teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • Crusty bread rolls.

Technique

  1. Chop the onion and finely chop the garlic clove.
  2. Bake or steam 1kg peeled and cubes of pumpkin, and then purée it using a food processor or liquidiser.
  3. Heat the pumpkin purée, chicken stock, salt, onion, garlic, thyme and peppercorns.
  4. Bring to the boil, reduce to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  5. Purée the soup in small batches.
  6. Return to the pan and bring to the boil.
  7. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  8. Stir in the 125ml whipping cream.
  9. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with the freshly chopped parsley.
  10. Serve with a crusty bread roll.

Main course: Pumpkin curry

Here at Arthur Price, we love experimenting with different recipes, and we adore this tasty vegan pumpkin-based curry, which serves four people.

Ingredients

  • 1kg pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons of Thai yellow curry paste
  • 2 onions
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 400ml can of reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 large stalks lemongrass
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard seed
  • 2 limes
  • Large handful of mint leaves
  • Naan bread.

Technique

  1. Finely chop the onions, bash the lemongrass stalks with the back of a knife and drain the chickpeas.
  2. Heat the oil in a sauté pan, then gently fry the curry paste with the lemongrass, onions, cardamom and mustard seed for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Stir the pumpkin into the pan and coat in the paste, then pour in the stock and coconut milk. Bring everything to a simmer, add the chickpeas, then cook for about 10 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.
  4. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the curry, then cut the other lime into wedges to serve alongside.
  5. Tear over mint leaves, then serve with the lime wedges and warm naan bread.

Dessert: Pumpkin and caramel cake

Pumpkin isn’t just a delicious ingredient in starter and main courses, but can also make a mouth-watering addition to dessert dishes.

Ingredients

  • 400g pumpkin purée
  • 4 large eggs
  • 125ml full-fat milk
  • 80ml vegetable oil
  • 450g pack white cake mix
  • Spice mixture of half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, half a teaspoon of ground ginger and a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons of dulce de leche from a jar
  • 225g full-fat cream cheese
  • 125g sifted icing sugar
  • 440ml double cream
  • 70g pecans, toasted and roughly chopped

Technique

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  2. Grease and line the bases of two 23cm cake tins.
  3. In a big bowl, beat the oil, cake mix, half of the pumpkin purée, milk, eggs and spice mixture until smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture into the cake tins and bake for 22-25 mins.
  5. Cool in the tins while you make the filling.
  6. Beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl until fluffy, then add the icing sugar, spice and the rest of the pumpkin purée and beat until smooth. Be careful not to overbeat the mixture.
  7. In another bowl, whip the cream and fold it gently into the cream cheese mixture.
  8. When the cakes are cool, cut each one in half horizontally so you have four thin sponges. Put the bottom layer on a plate, spread with dulce de leche, then smooth over a quarter of the filling.
  9. Add the next layer and repeat until you have layers of pumpkin, cake, caramel and cream,
  10. Sprinkle the pecans on top – and enjoy!