This week we carved five squash/pumpkins to celebrate Hallowe’en – one of which was one of my precious Crown Prince squash varieties.
Grown this year from seed, I’ve watched three grow and develop and there’s a part of me that didn’t want to slice and bake the tasty fruit. Although the skin is a grey/blue, the flesh inside is a rich orange in colour and once roasted is one of the tastiest squash we’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. It develops a deliciously sweet chestnut flavour and when made into a soup is simply divine. As we were scooping out the flesh the scent of melons filled the kitchen, reminding us of the Crown Princes’ relationship with the rest the Cucurbita family.
If you’ve yet to grow a Crown Prince, I heartily recommend you try it next year as they’re easy to grow (instructions here) and are great for winter storage. If you haven’t grown them, try sourcing them in a farmers market – I bought my first one last year from a local organic farm gate.
This is my third squash or pumpkin soup recipe on the blog and the tastiest yet. The reason I keep posting them isn’t for their amazing flavour – pumpkin can be quite bland on its own, more that I’m hoping it’ll encourage you to use the flesh!
In my previous life before children, I’d scoop out the seeds and flesh before carving pumpkins and composting them. That was it. I was too scared to try cooking them and didn’t have a clue what to do with the flesh. In fact I have a vague recollection of thinking what a waste of food, there must be something I could make with it, but it wasn’t until I became a budget conscious mum and starting cooking more than mushroom curries that I found out what to do with it.
Given that there’s only so much squash soup a family can make, this year we’ll also be making pumpkin muffins based on the courgette cake recipe and will be roasting some of the seeds. I spotted this recipe for cocoa roasted pumpkin seeds on twitter from the Food to Glow blog and will be giving it a go.
Crown Prince Squash Recipe
Diced flesh from a Crown Prince squash
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5 ltrs vegetable stock
Lots of finely grated nutmeg to taste
freshly ground salt & pepper
150 ml milk
Carefully cut the top from the squash and scoop out the seeds and fibrous contents. You can’t save and plant the seeds from a squash such as Crown Prince as it’s an F1 variety (meaning that whatever you grow wont be like its parent). Rinse and place the seeds to one side so that you can make the cocoa roasted snack when the oven’s hot. Using a spoon, scrape out as much flesh from the squash as you can without damaging the outer shell. Place the empty shell to one side ready for carving. Spread out the pumpkin flesh on a roasting tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 175ºC for about an hour.
Once roasted, melt the butter and cook the onion gently for 5 minutes in a covered saucepan, without colouring. Add the potato, roasted squash and vegetable stock. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 20 mins until the vegetables are tender. Cool a little, then purée in a liquidiser. Return to a clean saucepan and stir in the milk, grated nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the soup into the empty shell for serving if you’re not planning on carving it.
Do you have any favourite squash recipes or links you’d like to share?