As a child I loved Halloween. I loved the excitement of dressing up and going trick or treating followed by hours of gorging on sugary treats while playing party games. As an adult, Halloween became something of a more subdued affair until the arrival of my own children. I now relish the opportunity to indulge my inner child by dressing up and partaking of the spooky and silly shenanigans that Halloween brings. Food is an important part of the Halloween experience. Unquestionably, there will be sugar. To ask a child to go sugar free on Halloween is like asking Superman to have kryptonite for his dinner. This makes it a good idea to feed them up with a wholesome meal before going trick or treating. Call it an exercise in damage limitation, but at least you can relax in the knowledge that their little bodies have been nourished before the onslaught of junk food. As previously posted, my family eats vast quantities of soup during the colder months so for the days that’s in it a pumpkin soup is fitting. This recipe went down a treat, the kiddies gobbled it up and asked for seconds. Enjoy xxx
Recipe: 1 medium sized pumpkin
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
75g red lentils (or I large potato, peeled and chopped into chunks)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric (if you don’t have turmeric just substitute it with more curry powder)
1 can of coconut milk
To serve: chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaf and a handful of pumpkin seeds.
1. To prepare your pumpkin: Cut the top part off and scoop out the seeds and membranes inside. Cut the pumpkin into large chunks and then peel off the tough skin on the outside using a sharp paring knife. Cut the orange flesh into smaller chunks and discard the tough skin.
2. Heat a few glugs of sunflower or a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in a large heavy pan and sauté the chopped onion until just soft. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for a further 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Add the curry powder and turmeric and fry for another 1 or 2 minutes. Next, add the pumpkin chunks, stock and lentils. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for about 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft.
4. Add the coconut milk and bring back up to simmer. Blend until smooth and adjust seasoning. Serve with a blob of coconut cream, freshly chopped coriander leaf and pumpkin seeds.