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Pumpkin Carving & Soup

As Halloween is rapidly approaching shop entrances are full of pumpkins.  Whilst pumpkin carving is a tradition which is widely celebrated in the US it has also grown in popularity elsewhere.  It is an activity which my family really enjoys and, over the years we have had quite a variety of designs for our Halloween pumpkins.  But, have you ever wondered why people carve pumpkins in the first place?  And, once you have carved your pumpkin, what do you do with the pumpkin flesh itself?  In this blog post we will look at both the history of pumpkin carving and provide you with a delicious pumpkin soup recipe. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.  Some of the links on this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more here. History The tradition of pumpkin carving originates from an 18th-century Irish myth.   The story goes that a blacksmith known as Stingy Jack was banned from both heaven and hell after tricking the devil twice.  In the first instance, Stingy Jack, invited the devil to a drink but refused to pay.  He convinced the devil to turn himself into a coin so that he could use that to pay for the drinks.  The devil obliged but, instead of paying for the drinks, Jack kept the money in his pocket next to a silver cross.  This prevented the devil from changing back to his original form. Eventually Jack freed the devil subject to the devil agreeing not to bother Jack for a year and promising that should Jack die he would not claim his soul.  A year later, Jack again tricked the devil.  This time asking the devil to climb up a tree to pick some fruit.  While he was there, Jack carved a sign of the cross on the tree bark so that the devil could not get down and made the devil promise not to bother Jack for ten more years. It is said that upon Jack’s death the devil took pity on Stingy Jack and gave him an ember of coal to use in his turnip lantern as he wandered the earth throughout eternity.  From here Stingy Jack gained the nickname of Jack-of-the-Lantern, or jack-o-lantern and people began carving demonic faces out of turnips to frighten away Jack’s soul. Pumpkins Upon moving to the US, Irish immigrants continued this tradition but upon finding that pumpkins, which are native to North America, are a much better canvas for creative designs the today’s pumpkin carving tradition was born.   Carving Your Pumpkin When it is time to carve your pumpkin be sure to have all the supplies you need to ensure a suitably ghoulish result. Firstly, choose a pumpkin that is smooth and has a flat base.  This will ensure that it is stable whilst carving and when it is on display. Secondly, consider investing in some specialised tools such as these to make cutting easier and safer.  I also like to use stencils such as these for my designs.  Alternatively, you can also print out a picture and use it to trace the image onto the pumpkin before cutting.  This will allow you to create detailed designs. Once you have cut out your design,  scoop out the flesh from the pumpkin and add a candle or an LED light to illuminate your lantern.   You should aim to scoop out as much of the flesh as possible, keeping the walls of the pumpkin around 1cm thick. Pumpkin Soup So once you’ve finished carving your pumpkin what should you do with the flesh?  Well, waste not want not, like my gran always says.  Use the delicious pumpkin flesh to create a scrumptious soup – perfect for the cooler weather.  If you are using a pumpkin weighing around  2-3kg you should end up with between 700 and 1000g of pumpkin flesh. We love using this to make this creamy pumpkin soup Ingredients Directions Happy Carving and Happy Halloween We love hearing from you.  Why not engage with us on our social media platforms and share pictures of your pumpkin creations? If you love soup during this time of year, check out some of our other delicious soup recipes here. Sharing Is Caring: Related Articles You Might Enjoy:

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