Every year I try carve something different, but not just any old scary face. Over the last few years I've done a cat, an owl and a bat. This year I decided to go for a haunted house!
I always like to draw my design out on paper first to make sure it's just right. I then use this to create my stencil carefully cutting out the design. I sticky tape this on to the pumpkin and use a marker pen to transfer the design. This method takes a bit longer but the results are definitely better than just hacking away aimlessly with your knife - unless you're some sort of pumpkin carving artist!! Last year Matt's pumpkin ended up being one giant hole in the front! I managed to save the day by cutting a bat shape out of some spare pumpkin and sticking it back in using a skewer!
I bought my massive pumpkin from a local family run fruit and veg store in town - it was a bargain at £3! Especially as it was going to make enough soup for our lunches for about a week!
So here it is....
There are so many versions of pumpkin soup out there, but this is my favourite. I got the recipe from this awesome book "A soup for everyday" by Covent Garden with 365 soup recipes, using seasonal produce.
* 25 g butter
* 1 medium onion (I use frozen diced onions, sooo much easier!)
* 1 medium pumpkin
* 670 ml vegetable stock
* 125 ml milk
* Ground nutmeg
* Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes without browning.
* Add the pumpkin, carrot and stock and simmer gently until tender. I grated the carrots so they take a similar time to cook to the pumpkin bits that were carved out. If you're using chopped pumpkin then chop the carrots into similar chucks and simmer for longer.
* Add the milk and nutmeg then blend until smooth.
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