Don’t simply chop them up at Halloween, utilized in soups, pies, and stuffed, pumpkins make a scrumptious addition to our autumn menus. Fiona Lawrenson spills the beans
I’ve seen grown males cry over the sight of a large pumpkin, and severe cash might be received and misplaced on these superb greens. In case you don’t really feel as much as rising show-standard pumpkins, however fancy making your individual Halloween lantern or, extra in my line, a scrumptious, hearty soup, then take observe. Pumpkins are cool and in vogue.
Firstly, these big greens usually are not hardy, so plant out in spite of everything threat of frost has handed. End up an open and sunny website with soil that’s moisture retentive, well-drained, has a impartial to barely acidic pH degree, and is wealthy in vitamins (so loads of well-rotted manure dug in).
Pumpkins usually are not the simplest greens to develop from seed indoors as they are often troublesome to transplant, so sow in situ a few weeks earlier than the final anticipated frosts. A tip: to encourage quick germination, soak the seeds in water in a single day then place two to a few seeds, in the identical location, at a depth of 1 inch. Elevate a round ridge of soil round them, as this may allow the water to be retained within the surrounding hole. Place a jam jar over the seeds to behave as a mini greenhouse. As soon as these have germinated, skinny to at least one seedling. Pumpkins are thirsty crops and wish loads of water for the flowers to set and the fruits to swell.
Good soil preparation ought to present sufficient meals, however in the event you really feel nonetheless that it lacks nourishment add a liquid feed in the course of the time that the crops are swelling. Additionally, mulch across the crops as they develop to preserve moisture and suppress any weeds.
Pumpkins are prepared to reap when the skins are exhausting and sound hole when tapped. They need to be harvested earlier than the autumn frosts. Pumpkins might be saved for a number of months in a frost-free, cool storage space or shed.
Pumpkin and Bacon Soup
You have to:
700g (1lb 8oz) pumpkin
30g (1oz) butter
1 medium onion
275ml (10fl oz) full fats milk
725ml (1 pint 6fl oz) hen inventory
3 rashers streaky bacon
Salt, pepper and nutmeg
Soften the butter in a saucepan. Add the chopped onion and bacon – prepare dinner for 10 minutes to melt. Add the chopped pumpkin flesh, stir and add salt and pepper to style. Prepare dinner, on a low warmth, for an additional 10 minutes with the saucepan lid on. Pour within the inventory and milk and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Don’t permit the combination to boil. At this stage the pumpkin must be good and comfortable. Pour the combination right into a blender. Mix.
The soup is scrumptious served heat topped with a swirl of cream and a sprinkling of floor nutmeg and eaten with crusty bread.
Go to our Superstore to see its vary of pumpkin and different vegetable seeds
Articles reprinted with permission from Greenfingers.com