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Pumpkin is a great ingredient for autumn cooking, so even if Jack O'Lanterns aren't your thing, make sure you take advantage of the influx of the distinctive squash at this time of year. We suggest looking to Latin America for culinary inspiration: try a warming pumpkin and chilli soup, a deliciously different baked pumpkin stuffed with meat and fruit from Argentina, or perhaps a simple Peruvian pumpkin salad.

  • Each recipe serves: 8

    PUMPKIN AND CHILLI SOUP:

    Ingredients:

    • 1kg pumpkin, skin removed, deseeded and chopped
    • 1 onion
    • 1 clove of garlic
    • 1/2 a red chilli pepper, finely chopped
    • Chicken stock
    • Knob of butter
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Single cream or crème fraîche to serve

    1. Melt the butter over a low heat and cook the onion, garlic and chilli for 10 minutes. Add pumpkin and stir.
    2. Pour over just enough stock to only barely cover the pumpkin. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes until tender.
    3. Puree the whole mixture until smooth, then reheat and serve with a generous splash of cream.

     

    CARBONADA CRIOLLA – ARGENTINE STUFFED PUMPKIN:

    Meat and fruit are often partners in Argentine cuisine, and in this dish the the sweetness of peaches balances the hearty stew to great effect.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 large pumpkincarbonada-criolla.jpg
    • 1 kg steak, chopped into bitesize cubes
    • 1kg sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
    • Flesh of 3 peaches, chopped into chunks
    • 1 beef tomato, chopped
    • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
    • 3 red chillies, finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 600ml beef stock
    • 1 large glass of red wine
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Bay leaf
    • Olive oil

    1. Carefully slice the top off the pumpkin. Scoop out all the seeds and other goop from the inside of the pumpkin with a spoon, then brush it with a generous coating of olive oil. Sprinkle with rock salt and black pepper, and bake together with the top of the pumpkin for about 45 minutes on a medium heat, or until the flesh is really starting to soften.
    2. Add some oil to a pan over a high heat. Fry the beef for 7 or 8 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper, then remove from the pan.
    3. Lower the heat, add more oil and fry the onion until translucent. Add the garlic, chilli and tomato and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Return the meat to the pan and add the sweet potatoes, stock, red wine and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer for an hour or until the meat is braised and tender. Finally, add the peach and correct the seasoning if necessary.
    4. Remove the bay leaf and carefully transfer the stew into the baked pumpkin and return it to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes.
    5. To serve, ladle out the stew into bowls and chop the pumpkin into big wedges.

     

    PERUVIAN PUMPKIN SALAD:

    Ingredients:

    • 500g pumpkin, peeled, chopped into bitesize pieces and boiled
    • 1 red onion, sliced into very thin slivers
    • 2 tbsps red wine vinegar
    • 2 tbsps good olive oil
    • 30g fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped quite roughly
    • 100g feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    1. Mix together the oil, vinegar and red onion in a bowl.
    2. Once cooled, add the boiled pumpkin pieces to the bowl along with the parsley and mix. Sprinkle the crumbled feta over the top. Serve at room temperature, with rocket on the side if desired.

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