Every year at Secretts they grow a range of different varieties of squash and pumpkin which are prized for their use in all sorts of culinary preparations. They also grow a field of pumpkins for their famous tractors rides to pick a pumpkin too. These are mostly used for carving for Halloween celebrations.
Here is one of three great recipes from members of the team. Dawn, the farm shop manager, has shared her fabulous Asian Pumpkin Soup recipe. It is smooth, spicy and delicious and you can use pumpkin or butternut squash here, both give a great result.
1.5kg pumpkin or butternut squash (peeled and roughly chopped); 2 dessertspoons of sunflower or coconut oil; salt and freshly ground black pepper; 1 large onion, peeled and roughly diced; 1 tablespoon grated fresh or lazy ginger; 1 lemon grass stalk, bent in a couple of places to release flavour; 3 tbsps red Thai curry paste; 400ml can coconut milk; 800ml vegetable stock; juice of I lime; sugar to taste (optional).
To garnish: fresh red chili and a few coriander leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
2. Toss the pumpkin in half the oil and season well. Transfer to a large roasting tin and place in the oven for 40 minutes until golden and tender.
3. While the pumpkin is cooking heat the remaining oil and gently sauté the onion,ginger and lemon grass for 8-10 minutes until softened.
4. Stir in the curry paste and stir-fry for a further minute or so. Add the roasted pumpkin to the pan then stir in the coconut milk and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil then reduce and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
5. Remove the lemon grass and discard. Allow the soup to cool slightly and then blend (a stick blender, liquidiser or food processor will work here) until smooth.
6. Return the soup to the pan and heat through. Season with lime juice and a little sugar to taste.
7. Serve garnished with chopped chili, coconut chips and coriander.