Halloween Recipes: Spicy Pumpkin Soup and Roasted Pumpkin, Saffron & Parmesan Tart

As the balmy autumn wind sweeps from underneath the dried leaves, ghouls, witches, vampires and goblins come out in search of food. It is the night the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped, according to Celtic culture. Halloween, is known to have originated from the Celtic festival of death called Samhain, where some believe the dead would return to this world to visit their relatives whereas another belief is that they would come back  to earth to cause havoc and destruction. In the 21st century, ghosts and goblins still come knocking at your doorstep, asking for food; the only difference – it is the neighborhood’s brigade of kids, trick or treating across the area.

Halloween Recipes

From a religious eve, it has now turned into festive holiday where party goers unleash their wicked side and turn up in creative costumes, children amass heaps of candies and chocolates (recent study suggests people spend an average $2 billion on Halloween candy) and chefs turn their attention to a Halloween staple: Pumpkins. Used mostly as decoration on Halloween, pumpkins are carved to make the most famous decoration called Jack o’Lantern. Ever since 1866, pumpkin carved Jack o’Lanterns have become the symbol of Halloween. In essence, only the outer shell of the pumpkin is used for decorative purposes. That leaves us with a large quantity of juicy pumpkin flesh to use in the kitchen. With the turn of the season and winter fast approaching, use the pumpkin flesh to create dishes to keep yourself warm and satiated. This Halloween, turn your attention to some hearty autumn recipes with all the leftover pumpkin flesh.

Jack o'Lantern-Symbol of Halloween

SPICY PUMPKIN SOUP

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups chopped pumpkin
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 long cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup double cream
  • Few black peppercorns
  • Sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Preparation:

  • Using a food processor, add the chopped pumpkin and onions and puree
  • Heat the stock, salt, thyme, and peppercorns till it starts to boil
  • Add the pumpkin and onion puree, garlic paste, nutmeg, lemon juice and cinnamon stick. Give it a good stir and simmer for half and hour, without the lid
  • Once all the ingredients have fused together, add the double cream and give it one final stir
  • Remove the cinnamon stick and ladle the soup into serving bowls
  • Garnish with a dollop of cream and a few sprigs of thyme

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

ROASTED PUMPKIN, SAFFRON & PARMESAN TART

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chopped pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 50g parmesan cheese
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 tbsp hot milk
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 50g chilled butter, cubed

Preparation:

  • For the pastry: Mix the flour, salt and butter in a bowl and work it well with your hands till it reaches the consistency of breadcrumbs
  • Add 3 tbsp of water (or more if needed) and knead together till the dough is joined together like a ball.
  • Flour a dry surface lightly and knead the dough until smooth
  • Roll the pastry dough out and line it in a flan tin or a round baking dish. Flute the edges with your fingers
  • Chill the pastry for about 20 minutes
  • Prick the base with a fork and add a layer of baking beans before baking for 15 minutes
  • Take it out of the oven to remove the beans and place it back in till it becomes a pale golden color (usually about 5 minutes)
  • Remove and leave to cool
  • For the filling: Place the chopped pumpkin in a foil and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, or till the flesh has softened
  • Let it cool for about 10 minutes
  • In the meantime, add the saffron strands to the hot milk and soak for about 10-15 minutes
  • Once cooled, add the pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon powder and ground ginger into a food processor and blitz till pureed
  • In another bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, saffron milk and half of the parmesan cheese
  • Stir in the pureed pumpkin
  • Pour the mixture into the pastry and sprinkle over the remaining cheese
  • Bake in the oven at 200C for about half an hour, until the filling is lightly set and golden on top
  • Leave to cool before serving

Roasted Pumpkin, Saffron & Parmesan Tart

Celebrate Halloween with scrumptious pumpkin recipes, invite your friends over or just share with your family. Let the child within you experiment with decorating the pumpkin shell before donning the apron and emulating Julia Childs in the kitchen. Since you cannot turn the pumpkin into a carriage, like the fairy godmother did for Cinderella, you can certainly live out your fantasies in the kitchen by turning the pumpkin into a gourmet meal. In the meantime, Happy Halloween to all my readers.

 

  • http://tcrumbley.blogspot.com/ TR Crumbley (@TRCrumbley)

    I love this soup recipe! I’m currently obsessed with pumpkin. I have a pumpkin blog hop this month for pumpkin recipes, and I’d love if you add your recipe as well! http://tcrumbley.blogspot.com/2011/10/pumpkin-party-blog-hop.html

    • chatteringkitchen

      Thanks for the compliment. I have added my pumpkin recipes to your blog hop.
      All the best

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  • http://www.squidoo.com/make-your-own-healthy-home-made-food-dressing Imola Popescu Feldberg

    Pumpkins are very healthy too. They balance the body’s PH that is usually too acidic by all the other food we eat nowadays. here in South Africa we have various pumpkins — the butternut is most popular for roasting or soups. I will try your recipe — there is the addition of cinnamon to what I knew. Thanks!

    • chatteringkitchen

      Hope you enjoy it. Thanks for the added information about pumpkins too. Will await your feedback on the recipe.

  • http://www.learntocookbadgergirl.com Kimberly (Badger Girl)

    Wow, that pumpkin soup looks amazing! What would the equivalent be for using pumpkin puree? Would it still be 5 cups?
    Can’t wait to try it. :)

    • chatteringkitchen

      Thanks for your comment. You can increase or reduce the number of cups depending on how many people you want to make it for. About 4-5 cups are good for 2 people. Hope that helps. Happy cooking and let me know how it turns out

  • http://bestbookseverread.blogspot.com Elisabeth Ball

    That pumpkin parmesan saffron tart fascinates me. I would probably make this using store-bought dough, to cut down on time. :-) What emerges as dominant flavor of mixture? I’m sure it’s sort of a savory pumpkin flavor.

    • chatteringkitchen

      Your comments are always such a pleasure to read Elisabeth. Pumpkin Tarts are normally sweet, hence I decided to opt for a savory version. It is really a subtle mix of flavors, with the first bite its parmesan and then its all the pumpkin with a hint of saffron. With the store bought dough, the tart would be ready in no time :)

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  • Seema Latif

    Spicy pumpkin soup is exactly what I was looking for.. Thanks Memu I think, instead of cream I will add milk and just use a tiny amount to garnish. That would by my low fat version. Will also add a tiny amount of fresh red chillies to the blender to give it extra zest..i am a great chilly lover.
    Good bye jack-o-lantern…hello spicy soup!!!