One of the thing I've done is cook a batch of pumpkin soup. Now, for years I've been cooking pumpkin soup in winter with the same old recipe but inspired by Masterchef, I decided to Google "Spicey pumpkin soup" and came up with this recipe:
I've adapted it a bit for my taste and it's a beauty, I'm hooked and can't wait to have it for tea again (after already having it for lunch!)
You will need:
1 large Brown Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
1/2 cup Soup Mix or Lentils either soaked overnight or boiled for 20 minutes
3/4tsp Cummin Powder
1 litre (4 cups) or vegetable stock
1/3 cup Cream
Salt and Pepper for taste
This is why I prefer Jap pumpkin personally. The good old Grey Pumpin is so bloody hard to cut through but at less than $1kg at my local Veggie shed, Grey will have to do - still tastes great!
Dice your onion and garlic, cut up your pumpkin. Then in a large pot, put a dash of oil, saute your onion, garlic and cummin spice until the onion goes transparent. Add your pumpkin, the vegetable stock and simmer on the stove for approx 20 minutes or when your pumpkin has gone soft. Puree with a stick mixer.
Once your pumpkin soup is pureed, add the cooked/soaked soup mix. I love the cheap old version that you buy from the soup section of your supermarket (as above) because it's got pearl barley in it and it tastes YUM in this soup. Also add the cream. Cook the soup at a simmer for another minute or two. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I've saved my veggie scraps for "the divas" (my chooks as featured here) - nothing goes to waste at my place!
Viola! Perfect pumpkin soup with just a little "bite" from the cummin spice. If you like a little bit more spice, you can also add chilli. Additionally if you want a even richer pumpkin taste, roast the pumpkin in the oven first.
Serve with a good quality bread and enjoy. Even if you don't have a fancy stick of bread, the good old "toast soldier" will work perfectly. Tasty, cheap and relatively easy/quick to whip up, I can see this recipe sticking around for a while at our place.