Experiment, branch out, and use up what you have knocking about with this yummy pumpkin soup recipe from Nick Wilkinson, the winging it chef. This recipe is part of the #PumpkinRescue.

Ingredients (Serves 5-10 depending on pumpkin size)

1 small-medium pumpkin

1l ish vegetable stock

Any odds and ends of veggies e.g. carrot, parsnip, courgette, onions

Salt and white pepper

Garlic clove

Ginger

Coriander leaf

Oranges

Other herbs and spices you have around e.g. paprika, cumin, rosemary

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180-200°C. Temperature not crucial. If you have lots of time, make it a bit lower (e.g. 160°C) and cook for longer – it will end up sweeter, but will take longer to cook. 
  2. Cut the top off the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds, keeping the seeds. Pop a clove of garlic and maybe a sprig of rosemary inside the pumpkin, put the top back on and pop it in the oven on a tray.
  3. Cook for an hour ish, depending on the size of the pumpkin. When it's ready, the skin will have turned brown and it will be squidgy when you poke it with your finger. You can roast any other bits of veggies going in at this stage too.
  4. Meanwhile, wash the pulp off the seeds, sieve to dry (don't worry if they're still a bit wet – they'll dry in the oven). Spread them out over a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and spices of your choice (I like paprika and cayenne pepper), and put them in the oven for 20-30 mins until golden brown. Timing depends a bit on how wet they were going in. Best to just use your eyes and look for the golden brown colour – taste to check!
  5. Warm up the stock. When the pumpkin is done, take it out and peel off the skin. Leave it for a bit if it's too hot to handle. If it looks like there is too much stock for the amount of veggies, remove some stock and keep it aside. Put the pumpkin and any other veggies you are using into the stock, simmer for a few minutes and then blitz until smooth.
  6. If it is too thick, add more stock or water (or fruit juice can be nice too – apple works well) and keep blending until you reach the desired consistency. At this point season with salt, pepper, herbs and spices of your choice. Adding the zest and juice of an orange is pretty yummy too.
  7. Remember to go gentle on the seasoning, add a little at a time and keep tasting – you can always add more but you can't take it out!

Advice from Nick Wilkinson (chef): 'Experiment at home, branch out, and use up what you have knocking about. Before you chuck something away, think about whether it could be used somewhere. Just remember, when winging it go easy on the seasoning and spices, and taste as you go. If you're not sure it's gonna work out, try out with a little bit first.'

Winging it mantras:

  1. You can always add more but you can't take it out!!
  2. Taste, taste, taste as you cook.

This recipe is from the Taste Not Waste cookery class, part of the Zero Waste Kitchen Challenge project in Swadlincote. The theme was 'winging it', so the recipe is a pretty rough guide.