Chester & District Friends of the Earth Pumpkin Cook Book

The scariest thing about Halloween is how much Pumpkin is wasted, let’s change that this year!

This is our first Pumpkin Rescue. The cook book has been developed as part of our campaign, with tried and tested recipes with the help of my colleagues at Castlefield Partnership. 

Pumpkin Rescue is part of a Zero Food Waste Britain which outlines five principles to tackling food waste and has been developed by Unilever and Hubbub. Hubbub states that 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkin ends up in the bin each year, that’s the same weight as 1500 double decker-buses. The Pumpkin Rescue uses everyone’s favourite spooky staple as a prop to talk about the edible food we throw away and the easy steps we can take to eat it instead.

Pumpkin and Chickpea Curry

This is the first recipe I made for the book, trying it out on my work colleagues. I didn’t get backcurry from the office until late, so I adapted it to use a slow cooker by adding extra stock. A colleague at work is vegan and always misses out when we have goodies in work, so I specifically looked for a vegan recipe.

At the end of the day it was pretty clear how successful it was, there was hardly any left, not even enough for my son to have a full portion when he met me in Manchester to steal some.


3tbs olive oil or rapeseed oil
teaspoon mustard seeds

4 cloves of garlic chopped

1 onion chopped

4cm cube fresh root ginger chopped
1 fresh red chilli

teaspoon turmeric

pumpkin (small) , or squash (roughly 900g, chopped into 3cm chunks)

20 curry leaves

2 x 400g tins of chickpeas

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

400g tin of coconut milk



Warm the oil and then add the mustard seeds until they pop. Add the chopped garlic, then the onions, saute until brown. Reduce the heat and add the chilli, ginger and turmeric and stir through the onion mix until everything is coated. (I had some home grown tomatoes which were picked green before I went on holiday and were a little overripe on my return, so I also added around 6 fresh tomatoes at this stage and cooked these through with the onions and spice)


Add the tin tomatoes, chickpeas and pumpkin, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 45 minutes. Check regularly and add water if needed. After 45 minutes check the pumpkin and then remove the lid and simmer for a further 15 mins to thicken if needed.

Serve with chopped coriander, rice and naan bread.


If using a slow cooker, follow stage one and fry your onions and spice, add this to the slow cooker with the pumpkin, tomatoes and chickpeas. (don’t add the coconut milk as yet) You could add a little more spice as you will need to add stock to make sure the pumpkin is well covered. I needed around ¼ pint of stock. I cooked it overnight on low, you could also cook for 4 hours on medium. The next day I added the coconut milk and warmed this through before serving.


Autumn Glory
This recipe is from Catherine Hughes a colleague at work. She has a young family and loves to cook and bake and recommended this recipe. It’s a pumpkin and pasta recipe, which is served inside the pumpkin as a great table centre piece. I am definitely going to try this next week with the very last of my home grown courgettes, so mine might have extra courgette.

2kg pumpkin
1 onion
2.5cm cube fresh root ginger
3tbs olive oil
1 courgette sliced
2 red peppers (cut in halves, brushed in oil and roasted for 25mins, then cooled. Skin peeled off and chopped)
100g sliced mushrooms
1 can chopped tomatoes
100g dried pasta
450ml veg stock
Salt & pepper
60ml fromage frais (or dairy free alternative- unsweetened coconut yoghurt)
Chopped basil


Scoop out pumpkin, take as much pumpkin out as possible, then cut into chunks.
Bake pumpkin with lid on for 45 mins until begins to soften.
pumpkin-carvingMeanwhile make the filling, gently fry onion, ginger and pumpkin chunks in olive oil.
Cook pasta.
Add courgette, mushrooms, pasta and roasted pepper, stock, add salt & pepper and bring to the boil and simmer for 10mins. Stir in fromage frais (or dairy free alternative) and chopped basil.

Serve as much as possible in the pumpkin case as a centre piece.

Catherine didn’t have a picture of this for me of but did send me her family’s pumpkin carving for this year.


Spicy Pumpkin Soup
Kate Lambert at work uses this recipe every year, although she is talking about trying my curry this time. Kate uses chilli flakes rather than curry powder in the original recipe.



1 tbsp sunflower oil
3 shallots or 1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
5cm piece ginger, grated
2 tsp curry powder or chilli flakes
750g pumpkin or squash flesh, cubed
400g can coconut milk
400ml vegetable stock
pumpkin seeds



Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the shallots for 3–4 minutes or until beginning to soften, then add the garlic, ginger and spice and cook for a further minute. Add the cubed pumpkin flesh, coconut milk and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook gently for 10–12 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender.

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add the pumpkin seeds. Stir continuously for 1–2 minutes, until warm, watching closely as they are easy to burn. Leave to cool.

Allow the soup to cool in the saucepan for a few minutes, then blend until smooth. Ladle into bowls and serve sprinkled with the toasted pumpkin seeds.


Chocolate and Pumpkin Loaf
This is another first for me…..I have been making cakes with courgettes over the summer so was pumpkin-loaf-2nice to try something different. This recipe went down very very well and I am going to try to make the same batter into cup cakes. I didn’t have the size loaf tin below so used two smaller tins. Of course having paid no attention to the size of the tin I hadn’t realised my tin was too small until I had batter left over so had two different size tins.

My larger cake still took the hour to cook though, the smaller loaf tin I took out after about 45 minutes. I made them before going into the office and did have to take the cake in warm and they didn’t fair well in there travels. All the same it’s not all about the look but the taste.



125 g unsalted butter

300 g plain flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

175 g cooked pumpkin or butternut squash

100 ml buttermilk (I used milk with dash of lemon juice)

150 g quality milk chocolate

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

175 g caster sugar

175 g dark brown sugar

3 large free-range eggs


Clementine icing

1 clementine

200 g icing sugar

Preheat oven 170 degree C

Grease and line a 12cm x 25cm loaf tin.

Sift the flour, coca power, baking powder, bicarb and spice in a bowl.

Puree the cooked pumpkin and mix with milk and melted chocolate, add vanilla extract.

Cream butter and sugar- I have one of the big stand mixers but a hand mixer would work as well. When fluffy start to add in the egg and mix one at a time.

I then added everything together in my stand mixer and let it do the work. If using a hand mixer you might want to add the other ingredients in more slowly a bit at a time.

Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins and then turn out onto a wire rack.

For the icing mix the juice of the clementine with icing sugar, poor over the warm cake and serve.

I hope everybody has a great halloween and doesn’t eat too much chocolate to make good use of those delicious pumpkins.