Record levels of food waste over Halloween are expected this year.
More than 8 million pumpkins – equivalent to more than 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkin flesh – are predicted to be binned this year alone. An estimated 10m pumpkins are grown in the UK every year, of which 95% are hollowed out to create spooky lanterns.
One of the values of our MManifesto is “Protecting the Environment”. We believe that circular economy concepts such as recycling should play a key role in helping to save the planet. We have a zero waste-to-landfill approach and work hard to ensure that everything can be reused or recycled, food included.
This Halloween, once you’ve carved out your pumpkin, don’t throw away the flesh! Instead, try using it to make one of these delicious seasonal recipes created by our Executive Chef, Gabriele.
Pumpkin Soup with Croutons
For the croutons
1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan, then gently cook the finely chopped onions for 5 mins, until soft but not coloured.
2. Add 1kg pumpkin or squash, cut into chunks, to the pan, then carry on cooking for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally until it starts to soften and turn golden.
3. Pour 700ml vegetable or chicken stock into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins until the squash is very soft.
4. Pour 150ml double cream into the pan, bring back to the boil, then purée with a hand blender. For an extra-velvety consistency, you can pour the soup through a fine sieve. The soup can now be frozen for up to 2 months.
5. To make the croutons: cut 4 slices of wholemeal seeded bread into small squares.
6. Heat up 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, then fry the bread until it starts to get crispy.
7. Add a handful of pumpkin seeds to the pan, then cook for a few mins until the bread is toasted. These can be made the day before and stored in an appropriate container.
1. Heat the stock until almost boiling and then keep over a very low heat. In a separate heavy-based saucepan, fry the onion in the oil over a low heat until it’s soft but not browned. Add the chopped sage and cook for a couple more minutes.
2. Add the rice and mix well for a few seconds to coat the grains with oil. Pour in one-third of the stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until almost all the stock is absorbed. Add the pumpkin or squash and a little more stock, and continue to simmer gently until the stock is absorbed.
3. From then on, add more stock a little at a time, until the pumpkin is soft and the rice is nicely al dente (has a little bite to it). You may not need all of the stock, but the texture should be loose and creamy.
4. When the risotto is almost ready, heat the sunflower oil in a small pan and quickly fry the sage leaves until crispy – it only takes a matter of seconds.
5. Stir the butter into the risotto, and season well with salt and pepper. Divide into 4 bowls and sprinkle a few crispy sage leaves over each portion. Bring the cheese and a grater to the table for your guests to serve themselves!
MM is inviting people, companies and policymakers across London, the UK and the world to join the movement to change food culture in the country. This is an open invitation for people who believe in:
Healthy, sustainable, living food made with rural, artisanal practices
Supply chains that prioritise quality over price and make good, healthy food available
The importance of community in cities across the world, starting with London