Saturday, 13 November 2010

An autumn windfall-part two

A busy afternoon in the kitchen. My box scheme challenge continues. P-pick up a pumpkin.... and make????  What do you do with a pumpkin that weighs over 8 kg?!!!! The saving grace, pumpkins and other squash can hang around and wait for you and dont start turning mouldy as soon as your back is turned. As opposed to pears who "are bastards" as any Izzard will tell you.
From a recipe inspired by Patience Gray in her heart warming book, Honey from the Weed, I decided to make pumpkin soup, and wait for it Jorge,the marmelade was missing in part 1 so here it is. I am not going to get into the controversy that these kind of books are currently fueling among UK food journalists, but this is a truly passionate autobiographical cookery book. Evocative of  Mediterranean days of yore, Gray brings us, like her contemporary Elizabeth David a sort of Mediterranean odyssey that combines learning, wide reading, folklore and cookery. She gathered the recipes from Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades ( Naxos) and Apulia, where she settled in 1970 with her lover the sculptor Norman Mommens.

Zuppa Di Zucca Invernale - pumpkin soup
Gray uses a winter pumpkin that has a gnarled greenish yellow exterior and hour-glass form, much cultivated in Italy, Greece and Catalonia. The Portuguese winter pumpkin as you can see in picture,part 1 of this blog is more squat and segmented.The inside however is identical, a wonderful orange colour, fine grained and not fibrous, so I knew all was well before I started. But I still had kilos of pumpkin left. Gray resourcefully, (like it ) suggests two more uses for the rest, an unusual preserve and a winter pumpkin salad. I feel part 3 coming up!!!

1 kilo pumpkin
olive oil
1 onion
2 large potatoes
1leek
a branch of thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
300g cooked chickpeas
salt and pepper
chopped parsley
large knob of butter 
juice of a lemon 

Peel the pumpkin with a sharp knife, cut it into segments about 2.5cm (1in thick ), and then into neat cubes. Discard the seeds and fibres. Put some olive oil in the bottom of a pot, slice up the onion and simmer without browning. Peel and dice the potatoes,slice the leek. Put all the vegetables into the pot with the onions and sweat for a few minutes, add the thyme and enough hot water to cover ( I used chicken stock ) Season with ginger and add the chickpeas and salt and pepper. In an hour the pumkin will have melted into a creamy mush. Add the butter and parsley and allow to cool slightly. Add the lemon juice
and blitz the soup in a processor. Enjoy the softer than satin orange velvety sensation.

Doce de abobora 
( Pumpkin Jam)
This is an excellent jam, very useful for filling tarts and cakes or simply on its own as a dessert, with creme fraiche cut through it and topped with toasted almonds.
1lb (450g) cooked pumpkin
1lb (450g ) granulated sugar 
(The Portuguese prefer their sweet things, very sweet, I used half this amount)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Peel and clean the pumpkin and cook in water until tender, adding just a pinch of salt. Place it in a sieve to drain it as much as possible while pressing it lightly to extract the liquid trapped inside.Blitz in processor until you have a very smooth puree. Mix with the sugar and boil, stirring with a wooden spoon until it thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon. Pour into a sterilized jar and keep in the fridge.I am looking forward to spreading this on some toast tomorrow morning for breakfast.

1 comment:

  1. seem delicious? Anyway, was the pumpkin small??
    Jorge

    ReplyDelete