Well Storm Angus certainly arrived overnight and left behind a grey soggy Sunday. The first Sunday in a while with nothing planned, drew back the curtains and knew instantly it was going to be an indoor kind of day.
I find these days have their benefits though, a chance to visit new local places and shops, catch up with family, or cook up some delicious home grown delights with the allotment produce.
Since my last post, the most common weather seems to be rain, bringing halt to any digging I had planned. I did find time between the showers though to plant my rhubarb crown I was very kindly given by a plot neighbour who was splitting theirs up to promote new growth next year. Rhubarb has been on my list from the beginning and it will be two years before I am harvesting my own, but I am sure it will be worth the wait. It is always best to allow the plant to focus its energy into creating a strong root system in the first year, then you can be harvesting for years to come.
I can already smell the rhubarb compote, crumbles and pies!
I have also managed to hoe over the beds, bring down the bean canes, and plant several more daffodil tete a tete bulbs, still many more to go in as a matter of urgency.
Luckily I have two weeks off now so I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed for a few dry days to get lots achieved.
The allotment is slowly closing down for winter but not completely, as well as the jobs there is brussels, kale, beetroot, carrots, chard and chillies still to harvest, so lots of produce to keep me going over winter. I am still trying to avoid buying any veg at the supermarket, I feel like a traitor to the allotment otherwise so finding recipes that work with that I have instead.
I’m sure we all do this though and I find my wonderful friends on Twitter always have a recipe or two to share. It is a great platform for sharing ideas and next years plans!
On the subject of keeping me going, the main dish coming out of the kitchen and my ears is Roasted Pumpkin Soup. It is heavenly though and incredibly comforting, pure snuggle up soggy Sunday food.
I made my second batch this afternoon; carving the pumpkin even with the sharpest knife is a workout on its own! Luckily the end result makes it totally worth it.
In case you would like to give it a go yourself, here is the recipe:
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
You will need:
• 1.5kg edible pumpkin
• Olive oil
• 1 teaspoon dried chilli
• 1 large onion
• 3 cloves garlic
• 1 carrot
• 1 stick of celery
• 1 litre hot vegetable stock
Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F.
Half the pumpkin and remove the seeds (you can keep these for roasting), then chop into wedges. That’s the hard part over!
Place the pumpkin on two large baking trays and drizzle over a little olive oil. In a pestle and mortar, grind the chilli with a pinch of salt until finely ground. Sprinkle over the pumpkin with some black pepper.
Roast the pumpkin for 1 hour, until soft and slightly caramelised at the edges.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Heat a lug of olive oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan then add the vegetables and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft and sweet but not coloured.
When the pumpkin is ready, add to the pan. Blend with a stick blender, gradually adding the stock based on your desired consistency. You can also put everything in a food processor like I did then pour it into the pan for serving.
Ladle into bowls, add you favourite toppings and enjoy!
I definitely recommend giving it a go and its worth the hard work, just like growing the pumpkins themselves.
I will never forget carving into my first pumpkin, it gave me so much excitement and a real proud feeling. Knowing I had grown them from seed with no experience into beautiful rich orange delights, that even secured me a 3rd place in the Autumn Show earlier in the year.
It’s the never ending thrill of plot to plate!