Want a no waste recipe that uses an entire Pumpkin? This whole butternut pumpkin soup recipe is a brilliant way to make sure you use every bit of the pumpkin and prevent food waste.
Whether it's a precious home grown pumpkin or you just want to avoid the pumpkin halves covered in single-use plastic at the supermarket. This simple cook from scratch recipe will be healthy, delicious AND zero waste.
I try to get the majority of our fresh produce at local markets as often as possible, BUT sometimes I need to resort to supermarkets. The produce aisles still have an extraordinary amount of PLASTIC.
To avoid gladwrap on fruit and veggies, I now buy the WHOLE item and find ways to use it up, freeze it or share it with family so it doesn't end up being thrown out.
We LOVE this pumpkin soup recipe. It's pretty easy to make and perfect to store in the freezer.
In this recipe, I'll show tell you exactly how to cook this soup with zero waste, and you don't even need to be a good cook to do it.
Whole Butternut Pumpkin Soup Recipe
Prep Time 10-15 minutes Cook Time: 30-40 minutes Makes LOTS of soup
1 Butternut Pumpkin
2-3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 to 1.5 litres of Veggie Stock
Ground Black Pepper
Optional - a dash of Cumin and/or Thyme
If you only have half or 1/4 of a pumpkin to use, just adjust the ingredients accordingly.
How To Cook It
>Peel and chop the pumpkin roughly into cubes around 3cms
(Set aside the peel and seeds, I'll explain later)
>Chop the tops of the carrots (and set aside for later, but DO it before peeling)
>Peel the carrots and slice roughly (keep the peel)
>Place the chopped veggies into a large pot along with Olive oil and lightly sear it. This helps to create a richer tastier soup.
>Now, add the stock. The size of your pumpkin will determine how much you need. Usually 1 litre is plenty but this time, I hade a humongous pumpkin and needed 1.5 litres!
You can make your own veggie stock, but I don't. I use either liquid or powdered stock. You just need enough to cover most of the veg.
(I ended up adding a few sticks of celery that I found lurking in the fridge so they wouldn't go to waste)
>Add freshly ground pepper (and a little thyme and cumin if you wish)
>Allow it to simmer on the stove, stirring occasionally until the veggies are soft. This takes around 30-40 minutes.
>Once cooked, you can use a potato masher, a blender or a bamix to blend the soup together. (Always allow it to cool if using a blender as hot items can result in a dangerous pressure buildup)
>Serve with or without bread.
You can top with a dob of butter or sour cream, a little parsley or chives....however you like to have it!
What To Do With Those Scraps
>Carrot tops can be grown on your windowsill and is a fun project for kids. Once they take off, these can planted in pots. Just remember to water them every few days.
> Pumpkin peel can be used to make some easy zero waste dog treats
>Pumpkin seeds can be washed and baked in the oven with a little oil and spices - they are absolutely delicious. Bake for 15 minutes at 180 Degrees Celsius.
>Other scraps you wont be using, like carrot peel can, be used to make a very low effort compost tea for your pot plants and garden.
Making it Completely Zero Waste
>Refill your olive oil containers at bulk stores
>Look for package free herbs, spices and peppercorns. It always amazes me how fresher and fragrant these are when buying at wholefoods stores. Very different from the stale old ones at the supermarket.
>Use your stale bread to make croutons or dippers. (more tips on not wasting bread here)
>Make your own veggie stock. I don't for this recipe, so my only waste item is the packaging or container the stock came in which isn't perfect, but still low waste.
>You can save on water by letting your dog lick the pots (ok, I know a lot of people think this is disgusting, BUT they still get washed in hot soapy water and if that's good enough for raw chicken germs, then its certainly good enough for dog licking)
Freezing Your Soup
This soup lasts several days but you may not want to eat it EVERYDAY.
You can freeze in containers, mugs or glass jars.
To freeze in glass, make sure the soup is already cold. Pour into the jar leaving a generous gap at the top. Pop into the freezer with the lids unscrewed and sitting on top. A day later, go and do those lids up. To defrost, place the jar on the kitchen bench or to speed it up, put it in the sink or a pot with warm water.
The three jars on the left are for freezing, and the full jar on the right is for storing in the fridge.
I love the simplicity of this recipe and it is a brilliant backup when its suddenly dinner time and I haven't gotten around to cooking something healthy.
I try to always keep this on hand in case we come down with a cold or flu because I know its nutritious and easy to heat up.
So next time you're at the farmers market or your local organic store, you know exactly what you can do with a whole pumpkin to turn it into delicious meals as well as how to use the scraps.
When I gave some of this soup to my mum, she began coming up with ways to improve it like adding pine nuts (I hate pine nuts!). But if you do like tinkering around with recipes, this lends itself to some experimenting with ingredients and spices AND you don't have to be too concerned about the quantities of ingredients.
Do you follow recipes to the letter or prefer to take them as a guide only and do your own thing like me?
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