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  • Writer's pictureMichal Garvey

Accidental Pumpkins

About 6 months ago, I started noticing distinct plants popping up all around my garden.  These surprise seedlings were clearly going to produce some kind of gourd meaning they were part of the Cucurbitaceae family (yes I did have to Google that word and to be honest I have no idea where you’d even start in pronouncing it). At first, I was confused as I hadn’t planted any zucchini, cucumber, melon or pumpkin recently. But it didn’t take too long to click, that these plants had come to be growing in the garden by way of the worm farm. There must’ve been seeds that bypassed the worms breakdown skills and went on to find themselves in the right conditions to sprout and grow pumpkins.

I’m not talking one or two plants in a concentrated area here either. These plants started to take over, and were in parts of the garden where I wouldn’t usually grow vegetables. But I figured if anything was that big, and strong without being intentionally planted there, then it was going to be capable of great things. Capable of great things they are as the garden is now flush with pumpkins!

There are even at least three different types - butternut, buttercup and crown. The best part is that these were pumpkins that I grew accidentally and will be feeding me for weeks to come. It’s a great reminder of the added benefits of returning food scraps to the earth so they can keep feeding us. You bet I’ll be returning the seeds from these pumpkins to the ground and am already looking forward to next year’s surprise (or not so) harvest,

I see many pumpkin meals in my near future - risotto, ravioli and gnocchi - but first up was a favourite of mine, pumpkin soup.

This was probably one of the most basic and cheapest pumpkin soups I’ve ever made, but it was also one of the most flavorful! Top tip - a few years ago, I discovered that the key to a good soup is to start by roasting the veges. This brings out a much deeper flavour, than if you just boil them, as they start to caramelise. For this recipe, I used one crown and one small buttercup pumpkin, but you can use whatever variety you can get your hands on. The below gave me 6 servings of soup which cost less than $2 in total to make. Served with rescued Sourdough that was also $1.50 that’s 50c a meal for 6 meals - I don’t know about you but I don’t know if I’ve ever made a cheaper meal!

Pumpkin Soup 

1 Pumpkin 

1 Onion 

Moroccan Spice Blend 

2x tsp Vegetable Stock Powder 

¼ can Coconut MilkOlive Oil 

Salt and Pepper

  1. Cut up the pumpkin into chunks (you’ll blend it later, so large chunks are ok, but smaller ones will reduce the cooking time) and quarter the onion. Place on a large baking tray.

  2. Sprinkle a generous amount of Moroccan Spice Blend (I got mine on the app from GoodFor!) and olive oil. Then bake at 200c for 40-60 minutes. Check and stir after around 20 minutes and remove when they’ve started to caramelise on the edges. 

  3. While the pumpkin is cooking, prepare the veggie stock mix 2tsp stock powder (also care of Foodprint & GoodFor)  in 1 Litre of water. Boil and then allow to cool.

  4. Once everything is cooled down, add to a blender and blend. If it’s too thick can add extra stock or water. 

  5. Return to a pot to heat, add coconut milk, salt and pepper to taste before eating.

Note: If you don’t have Moroccan Spice Blend, use a selection of spices from your pantry such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli, paprika, and rosemary.

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