Apart from their many health benefits, pumpkins are once again an eye-catcher. You will find them at vegetable markets, farm shops and wholesalers. The pumpkin (Cucurbita), a large berry in a botanical sense, offers versatile enjoyment. It is suitable for baked goods, soups and vegetable dishes. Oil extracted from pumpkin and roasted pumpkin seeds are equally healthy and delicious.
Few calories, nutrients and vitamins characterise the world’s most giant “berry”. For example, 100 g of fruit flesh has only 25-30 calories (kcal). This fruit has plenty of beta-carotene, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Another plus is the vitamin A and a considerable amount of iron.
Caution should be exercised with home-grown pumpkins. In addition to back mutations, unintentional cross-breeding with pumpkin plants can occur. Like ornamental pumpkins or wild pumpkin plants, the latter contain so-called cucurbitacins. These can lead to poisoning symptoms, such as diarrhoea, palpitations and nausea. Bitter-tasting pumpkins should, therefore, not be used in the kitchen. Better dispose of them sensibly.
The cucurbitacins stem from different pumpkin varieties. Like the ones in shopping centres, farm shops and vegetable markets.
Pumpkin soup with ginger, curry and turmeric
- Wash, dry, peel (peeler), and seed two medium-sized “Orange Knirps” pumpkins. Rinse again and cut into quarters.
- Wash 2-3 ginger sprigs, peel and cut into small pieces.
- Pour water with some coarse sea salt into a large pan.
- Add pumpkin and ginger and cook until soft.
- Puree. The soup should be thick at this stage. If not, add a little more water.
- Add 4-5 tablespoons chives, dried or fresh. Then, 4-5 tablespoons parsley dried or fresh. Furthermore, add two tablespoons of curry powder yellow/mild and one of turmeric. Last, use two tablespoons of pepperoncini flakes dried and four bay leaves.
- Continue to simmer for 20 minutes. Stir from time to time.
- Stir in 2 dl pure coconut milk. Season with soy sauce (possibly vegetable stock powder fat-free) to taste.
- Simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Garnish with broccoli rabe lightly pre-cooked in mild salted water. Add roasted pumpkin seeds and a dash of pumpkin seed oil.
- Seasoned tofu baked in the oven or Stirnrunzler’s Focaccia go well. (see Ligurian Flatbread with Rosemary – Focaccia)
- The pumpkin soup can be sealed well in the refrigerator for three days and reheated.