Pick Up a Pumpkin: soup recipe

Today we went pumpkin picking at Cattows Farm, Leicestershire. I picked one to cook and one to carve.

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I made soup with the one to cook, here is my vegan pumpkin soup recipe, perfect as the days get chillier and nights get darker.

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  • 1 pumpkin
  • 1 white onion
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Fresh ginger
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 pints vegetable stock
  1. Pre-heat oven to 240℃
  2. Cut the pumpkin in half through the stalk, scoop out the seeds (save the seeds to roast), then cut each half into chunks
  3. Place onto a baking tray, brush each chunk with rapeseed oil, season with salt and black pepper, then place into the oven for 30 minutes
  4. While the pumpkin is roasting, put a dash of rapeseed oil, chopped onion and ginger in a pan to fry, once the onion has some colour put it on a low heat to simmer for 20 minutes
  5. Scoop out the roasted pumpkin and add to the onions and ginger, then add the vegetable stock, nutmeg, cinnamon and more salt and black pepper to simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes
  6. Finally, blend the soup to a smooth puree

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As mentioned above, save those pumpkin seeds to roast as a tasty topping or snack.

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180℃
  2. Scrape the seeds from the pumpkin, clean off all the pulp and give them a rinse
  3. Spread them onto a baking tray, spray with rapeseed oil and season with salt and black pepper (or any flavour you like!), then place into the oven for 10 minutes

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Meaty Impact and Innovations

Lately it seems everyone is talking about meat and the sustainability issues that surround it. So I’m going to join in!

Of course, this isn’t the first time I’ve wrote about it, earlier this year I tried Veganuary, then for Lent I gave up meat and now I’d class myself as Flexitarian (or whatever new trendy name it’s been given this week). Basically I go days, weeks even without eating meat.

A few nights ago Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped broadcast a special on the innovations that are making meat healthier for us and better for the planet. It’s definitely worth a watch, but if you haven’t got the time, here are some highlights…

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Did you know?

Cows produce more methane than cars, planes and trains combined. They release about 120kg of methane per year. Methane is a greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide (CO2). But the negative effect on the climate of methane is 23 times higher than the effect of CO2. 

33% of cereals grown in the UK are used for meat production.

Most of the world’s soy crop ends up in feed for poultry, pork and cows. The expansion of soy to feed the world’s growing demand for meat contributes to deforestation. 

For 2kg of chicken it takes 4.6kg of feed. For 2kg of pork it takes 6kg of feed. And for 2kg of beef it takes 30kg of feed. That is a lot of crop needed for a small amount of meat!

It takes 15,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of beef but only 1,250 litres for 1kg of wheat.

The innovations for a more ‘sustainable’ meat industry covered were a little bonkers, but it does show that the industry is starting to look at alternative ways in order to protect the planet.

Belgian Super Cows – Apparently these huge muscly cows are bred through natural selection (hmmm) due to an inactive muscle control gene. They produce around 30% more meat than a normal cow and somehow do this through eating the same amount of food as a normal cow.

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Spirulina Algae – Spirulina is an edible microalgae that can be grown in tanks on top of buildings. It’s still new technology but it could be used to replace normal animal feeds freeing up land currently used to grow animal feed to grow human vegetation instead.

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Ostrich Meat – Ostrich’s produce 10 times less methane than cows, they require 3 times less land to graze, can produce 64 tons of meat in a lifetime opposed to a cows 1.72 tons and the water footprint of ostriches is roughly a third of cows.

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If you’re having a BBQ this bank holiday, why not give an ostrich burger a go? Or veggie sausages? My favourite is BBQ’d pineapple. Yum! Whatever you do, have a great long weekend! xxx