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Dear Mooners

Halloween is officially now the third biggest holiday celebrated in the UK - after Christmas and Easter - and has become a big money spinner for retailers. Pumpkins, confectionery and plastic costumes are the throwaway order of the day - throwaway being the operative word. Recently published research suggests consumers are expected to discard 8 million pumpkins this Halloween (Halloween food waste article) equivalent to 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkin flesh. Most pumpkins will be bought solely to carve into lanterns with the interior flesh ignored as a nutritious food, contributuing to the astounding FIFTEEN FRICKIN' BILLION QUID of food waste in UK homes every year.

Let's not add to the criminal levels of waste after lantern carving this Halloween Mooners. LET'S MAKE SOUP! Ingredients (organic where possible):

All the interior pumpkin flesh left from your lantern carving A big lug of olive oil 1 or 2 big onions chopped 4 good sized cloves of garlic chopped 3cms (min) of solid fresh ginger root chopped 1 tablespoon of garam masala/curry powder 2 pints of vegetable/chicken stock Seasoning to taste

Carve your pumpkin but keep the interior flesh minus the seeds and skin (keep seeds to one side for roasting - see below) Fry up a big chopped onion (or two) in a large pan on medium heat for 10 mins keeping it moving until browned (not burnt). The pan should take a healthy brown hue at the bottom too. Add the garlic, ginger and garam masala, continue to fry for a couple more minutes. Add the pumpkin flesh and move it about for five minutes before adding the veggie stock. Let it simmer for 30 minutes Let it cool for 10 mins then attack it with a hand held soup blitzer or decant it in successive small amounts into a food mixer and blend Add seasoning (and garam masala should you want a more curried flavour) to taste

Roast your pips! Give the seeds a rinse through so they're clean of flesh Chuck 'em on a roasting tray, spread a a good glug of olive oil over the top then mix it in so each seed gets a gentle coating Bake in the oven at 180ºC for 10-15mins or until lightly golden brown. Let them cool.

Nutritious and delicious, pop them on the surface of your soup, toss them in a salad or enjoy as a snack in their own right.


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