We adore Halloween in our house. I’d even go so far as to say that, save perhaps for Christmas, it’s our favourite holiday of the year. If you’ve not been following my little blog for very long do have a look at the fun we had this time last year, you’ll find it over here.

The weekend’s rituals will begin with the obligatory carving of pumpkins (always a job for Mr. LA, under Izzy’s watchful eye of course). I love the glow that emanates from outside all the houses on our street once everyone has lit there lanterns.

However, one thing that haunts me every year (!) is the fact that so many people simply discard the flesh from their carefully hollowed out pumpkin. Madness! Here’s what I’ll be doing with mine this year…

You will need:
800g pumpkin, peeled and diced into rough 2.5cm chunks
1 1/2 leeks, sliced and washed well
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
a small handful of dried porcini (about 10g)… although I will probably omit this ingredient as Mr. LA is not a fan of mushrooms. I may substitute with some chickpeas instead, they are always well received in our household.
1 tsp chopped marjoram
1 tsp thinly sliced chilli
a big nugget of Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper

1. Over a very low heat, in a wide saucepan with the lid on, cook the pumpkin and the leeks in the olive oil for 45 minutes, until they take on a pleasing braised appearance.

2. Meanwhile cover the the dried mushrooms with 800ml boiling water. After a few minutes, drain them, reserving the soaking water – the porcini will be soft enough to chop up small.

3. Stir the chili flakes and garlic into the pumpkin and cook for a further 10 minutes.

4. Strain the soaking water through a fine sieve on to the pumpkin and add the chopped mushrooms.

5. Bring to a simmer and cook until the pumpkin is good and soft (about 20-30 min).

6. Stir in the marjoram and chilli, check the seasoning, then run a masher haphazardly through the soup a few times, to help the consistency, but don’t overdo it.

7. Finish with a flurry of Parmesan and a splosh of good extra-virgin. This soup tastes even better the next day.

This recipe can be found in one of my absolute favourite cookery books ‘LEON‘. They’ve recently released book 2 and I’m just dying to get my hands on it!

I can’t wait for the weekend. I have an absolute mountain of work to get through before it arrives though. I’m very much looking forward to baking some ginger cupcakes with ginger fudge frosting on Friday evening though. Mmmmmmm, I’m salivating already!

Any Halloween themed baking/cooking planned for the weekend ladies? Have you sorted your costume yet?

Loveaudrey xxx

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