"Don't waste your pumpkins!" plea from Eastleigh students

After learning that an estimated eight million pumpkin are thrown away after Halloween each year in the UK, trainee chefs at Eastleigh College are encouraging people to get cooking to make the most of the autumnal fruit.

Two Level 3 catering students are sharing recipes to use this highly nutritious food which is low in fat and cholesterol, and rich in vitamin A.

Eighteen year-old Kenny Renshaw is promoting a ‘Roasted Pumpkin and Coconut Soup’. He says: “We currently have roast butternut and coconut soup on the menu in our East Avenue Restaurant. It is very popular with our customers, and works really well with any squash so is ideal at Hallowe’en.”

Meanwhile James Tumilty, 18, has chosen to share a Pumpkin Pie recipe. He explains: “The sweetness of the pumpkin is released during the cooking process, and so it works really well with a sweet shortcrust pastry." 

Pumpkin Pie 

Ingredients:

750g pumpkin - peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks

350g sweet shortcrust pastry

140g caster sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated

1 tsp cinnamon

2 eggs, beaten

25g butter, melted

175ml milk

1 tbsp icing sugar

Plain flour, for dusting

 

Method:

  • Place the pumpkin in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for around15 minutes, until tender. Drain pumpkin and leave to cool.
  • Heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4
  • Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill for 15 minutes
  • Line the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans and bake for 15 minutes
  • Remove the beans and paper, and cook for a further 10 minutes until the base is pale golden and biscuity. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly
  • Increase oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7
  • Push the cooled pumpkin through a sieve into a large bowl
  • In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, nutmeg and half the cinnamon. Mix in the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk, then add to the pumpkin purée and stir to combine
  • Pour into the tart shell and cook for 10 minutes
  • Reduce the temperature to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and continue to bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling has just set
  • Leave to cool, then remove the pie from the tin. Mix the remaining cinnamon with the icing sugar and dust over the pie. Serve chilled.

Roasted Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

Ingredients:

700g fresh pumpkin

100ml vegetable oil 

1 medium chilli, deseeded

1 stick of lemongrass

20g fresh ginger, peeled

1 clove of garlic

150g banana shallot

100g celery

10g coriander roots and stalks

10g palm sugar

25ml fish sauce

100g yellow split peas (soaked over night)

1.5l water

400ml coconut milk

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

 


Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/190°C fan/gas 5
  • Remove pumpkin skin and seeds and roughly dice
  • Mix it with 2tbs of the vegetable oil and seasoning, spread the diced pumpkin on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 30 minutes until golden brown
  • While the pumpkin is roasting make the chilli and shallot paste for the soup
  • Place the chilli, chopped lemongrass, shallot, ginger, garlic, celery, coriander roots, palm sugar and fish sauce in a blender and puree until smooth
  • Heat a large saucepan with the remaining vegetable oil and gently fry the chilli and shallot paste for about 5 minutes, add the drained soaked yellow split peas and sauté for a further 2 minutes. Add the water and gently bring the soup to a gentle simmer, cover the saucepan with a lid, simmer for 10 minutes
  • Add the roasted diced pumpkin, bring the soup back to the simmer, cover the pan with a lid and gently simmer the soup for a further 40 minutes, stir the soup occasionally
  • Add the coconut milk, bring the soup back to the boil and simmer for further 5 minutes
  • Blend the soup until smooth, adjust the seasoning if needed and let the soup down with a little water if it's too thick
  • Bring the soup back to the boil before serving.