Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pumpkin soup!

Summer Bummer

 The weather has been miserably wet and dank, and with the summer sun being a no-show this year, there is already a veritable Autumn chill in the air. To herald the start of Autumn, we lit the fire and ventured into the soggy garden to cut some of our wonderful QLD blue pumpkins... it was time to make some home made pumpkin soup and lift the spirits.

In early spring, we dug in five bags of horse manure to a 2 square metre bed in preparation for our pumpkin seedlings. With all the rain over summer, the 3 little pumpkin seedlings that we planted have since grown into rambunctious monsters spreading over the yard, along the front hedge, down our side fence, and up and over our camellia tree, which now has 2 pumpkins growing in it. While they are a truly unruly vegetable, we love them! Their large leaves make for great hiding spots for the kids, while they look for grass hoppers or snails for the chooks. This year we have around 15 or more pumpkins for harvesting from 3 vines. We hand pollinated most of them this year using a small paint brush.

Pumpkins are ready to harvest when the stalk starts to go corcky and the pumpkin sounds hollow when tapped.

Nothing quite warms the cockles like some home made pumpkin soup and hot bread, especially when it is made with your very own pumpkins.

Our home made Pumpkin Soup Recipe

1 pumpkin, 3 cups water, Cumin, Rosemary, salt, cracked pepper, fresh cream, sour cream, olive oil, butter, chives.

First, cut the pumpkins in halves and scoop out the seeds. Cut the flesh into wedges, leaving the skin on.
Place on a baking tray with rosemary, a little olive oil and grated butter. Roast in the oven until soft and starting to brown.

once cool, remove the skin, adding the pumpkin to a pot with 3 cups of water, some garlic, 2 tea spoons of cumin, and blend or mash. Allow to simmer on the stove. Add a good pinch or 3 of cracked pepper, salt, and a cup of cream.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top and sprinkle with diced chives.

Of course no pumpkin soup would be complete without some hot and crispy home baked bread, enjoyed by the fire on the next cold and drizzly day that comes your way.

Summer Harvest Highlights

One of the funnest things to do with kids in the garden is potato hunting. The kids found it as exciting as digging for treasure, and best of all had a good reason to play in the dirt. Many of these potatoes found their way to the crop and swap this year, but we still enjoyed plenty at our own dinner table.

Beetroot Beauties