Ghoulishly, Wickedly Green Pumpkin Soup

Ah…Halloween evening has arrived and as we await the darkness to unfold it’s legendary, ancestry Celtic secrets…

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble*.

…on this bewitching, witchery evening that takes it’s name from “Hallowed evening” being the day before All Hallows Day (you may know it as All Saints Day), what better way than to stir up spirits (get it? ;O)) than to wave a magic wand over a caldron-shaped pumpkin…abracadabra…behold! Flashes of purpley-seaweed green smoke, sizzle-sounds of burning embers…and phew!

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I give you: an intoxicating liquor of life-enhancing deliciousness that will have you digging deep for more…more…more!

Pushing my pointy hat to a saucy wee angle, I’ll crack on with spelling :O) out how you can get your hands on bringing your very own green goblin to life.

Ingredients

Per portion

1 medium size pumpkin, washed (I used a ghoulishly green one and you can use any colour)

20g butter

1 onion or 3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled, chopped and squashed (Get it ;O))

Fresh grated nutmeg (a wee pinch)

1tsp chopped fresh sage (or dried)

500ml of vegetable stock (I used a gluten free, good quality stock cube)

2tbsp low fat natural yoghurt

Salt and pepper to season

Method

  • Heat the oven to 190⁰C, gas mark 5. In a medium size, deep ovenproof dish, add a little oil. Slice the top off the pumpkin scooping out the inner flesh and seeds. Make sure you leave the pumpkin’s outer skin thick enough to act as “walls”. Place it in the ovenproof dish with the pumpkin lid on top of it’s body; place the dish in the centre of the oven.
  • Next, remove the pumpkin seeds from the flesh and chop the flesh. Set the seeds aside in a container and soak with water. I’ll come back to these.
  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan and when melted, add the chopped onion. Fry for 10 minutes until they begin to soften and become translucent. Don’t brown them, though. Add the crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the nutmeg, sage and pumpkin flesh. Gently swirl into the onion and garlic mixture making sure everything is coated with the available oil. If not, add a splash of boiling water which will help prevent the ingredients from sticking to the pan.
  • Now add the vegetable stock making sure all the ingredients are covered and bring to the boil. Once at boiling point, lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the pumpkin flesh has softened. About 10-15 minutes should suffice before transferring the ingredients to a food processor and blitzing. If you don’t have a food processor, use a potato masher to combine all the ingredients to a pulp-like consistency.
  • Pour this thick-ish liquid into the pumpkin’s body, season and cover with it’s lid. Allow to bake in the oven for about 40-50 minutes or until the pumpkin body is tender and still holds it’s shape.
  • Open the lip and serve with a dollop or two of low fat natural yohgurt mixed into the creamy-like soup with a hunk of tasty bread.

And there, fellow Halloween foodies is a visually stunning ghoulish treat for this bewitching evening.

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Not forgetting…once you have washed the pumpkin seeds and removed as much of the clinging flesh as possible, pour them out onto a greaseproof paper lined baking tray and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes. These seeds produce a rich, nutty flavoursome tasty snack to nibble or a sprinkling top for a salad.

Does a wee twirl, sprinkles some magic dust and cuddles a black cat before jumping on the ol’broomstick – enjoy yourselves!

Dawn x

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PS: Licks lips…burps like any good witch does and cackles a cackle…that was yummy!

For more easy-to-make recipes and inspired food ideas, then follow this blog here and keep up-to-date with Ms Love Food on Twitter. Facebook and Mumsnet are websites you’ll find me on, too – so keep looking for tasty recipes coming!

*Double, double toil and trouble by William Shakespeare

 

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Christmas Pudding Rice Pudding

The Twelve Recipes of Christmas

Christmas Pudding Rice Pudding

Dawn: (Singing away) On the Twelfth day of Christmas my true Love Food gave to me….

Andrew: Something that will cook slowly whilst we take down the decorations.

Dawn: Will it take that long to untangle the lights?

Andrew: Several hours after the cat has been at them.

Dawn: What do we have left in the Christmas larder?

Andrew: A small Christmas pudding, some citrus fruit that has seen better days and the remnants of some pudding rice.

Dawn: Do you still have your inventing hat on?

Andrew: I’ll fetch it and get to work. If it still fits…my hair needs cutting!

Two hours later: Andrew emerges triumphant from the kitchen.

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Ingredients

1 Small Christmas pudding (or leftover portions)

100g pudding rice

1 pint/500ml semi-skimmed milk

50g caster sugar

Grated rind of one lemon and one orange

1tsp vanilla essence

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 150⁰C, gas mark 2.
  • Rinse the rice in a sieve under cold water to remove the starch. Leave to drain.
  • Butter an ovenproof dish.
  • Crumble the Christmas Pudding
  • Add the rice, grated zest, sugar, vanilla essence and crumbled pudding to the dish and mix.
  • Pour in the milk and stir so the ingredients are spread evenly.
  • Place into the oven and bake for one and a half to two hours, until the rice pudding has firmed but has a wobble in the middle.
  • Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Dawn: Gorgeous smell and what an amazing colour!

Andrew: An ingenious way to use remaining Christmas ingredients that would simply gather dust in the cupboard.

Dawn: Rice Pudding should give you enough energy to get on with removing the decorations now!

Andrew: Wasn’t that your job?

Dawn: You’re learning to multitask remember!

For more in this series of festively inspired food ideas, then follow this blog here and keep up-to-date on Twitter. Facebook and Mumsnet are websites you’ll find us on, too – so keep looking for tasty recipes coming!

Dreamy Leftovers Christmas Pudding Custard-style Ice Cream

The Eleventh Day of The Twelve Days of Christmas Recipes brings a tantalizingly delicious creation to whet tastebuds

Leftover Christmas Pudding and Dreamy Custard-style Ice Cream

Dawn: This combines the coolness of luscious ice cream with the textures of Christmas pud and in contrast, the crispness of sharp dark chocolate (sang merrily to accompany this rich and yummy pudding!)

Andrew: WOW! I like the sound of this!

Dawn: I know…I have a divine singing voice, I’m told. And the ice cream is quite a centre stage act, too. You’ll be even more impressed when you sample it, Andrew.

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Ingredients

Serves 4-6 persons

150g Leftover Christmas pudding

For the dreamy custard:

6 large egg yolks

100g castor sugar

2tsps of cornflour

550ml of whipping or double cream

2 vanilla pod or 2tsps of vanilla essence

Topping:

150g Dark 70% cocoa chocolate

A sprinkling of icing sugar to dust

Method

  • Put the egg yolks, cornflour and castor sugar in a bowl and mix together until they are combined to become a bright, yellow jewel. Set aside while you make the custard.
  • Put the whipping or double cream in a saucepan adding either the vanilla pods which are first cut in length and then the seeds scraped out along the outer pods lengths; put the pods into the cream, too or add the 2tsps of vanilla essence.
  • Gently heat the cream and vanilla mixture on a hob until hot then add to the egg mixture which you have previously prepared in a mixing bowl, stirring as you do to combine the ingredients.
  • Now pour the custard ingredients back into the saucepan that you’ve used for heating up the cream and return to the hob. Break up the Christmas pudding into very small chunks and add to the saucepan.
  • Heat gently, stirring constantly. Make sure the Christmas pudding is blending well into the custard mixture.
  • The custard will begin to thicken and you’ll feel the spoon start to ‘drag’ on the saucepan’s bottom as it does so.
  • Once thick enough that it’s the consistency of whipped cream, pour into a container and set aside to cool.

Dawn: The Christmas pudding bowl comes in very useful here!

Andrew: No salt with this ice cream, Dawn?

Dawn: That’s right, Andre: no salt. The alcohol in the pudding makes the ice cream soft enough to scoop.

  • When it’s cool, put in the freezer to set.
  • Every two hours, remove from the freezer and stir the ice cream. Do this 3 or 4 times. Then allow to fully set.
  • When ready to serve, remove the ice cream from the freezer for approximately 20 minutes beforehand.
  • During this waiting time, put a pudding basin over a small saucepan of boiling water, remembering to not let the bottom touch the water. Break the chocolate into small chunks and put into the suspended pudding basin. On a medium heat, allow the saucepan of water to gently melt the chocolate.
  • Once the chocolate is melted, pour over the pudding-like ice cream and dust with a little icing sugar.

Andrew: Yes, we stir the ice cream to prevent ice crystals forming and so the freeze is even.

Dawn: And we’ve finished this creation off with a pouring of melted dark chocolate over it.

Andrew: Looks just like a Christmas pudding!

For more in this series of festively inspired food ideas, then follow this blog here and keep up-to-date on Twitter. Facebook and Mumsnet are websites you’ll find us on, too – so keep looking for tasty recipes coming!