Carve your Halloween pumpkin with a fiendish fairy house
Halloween is coming and the pumpkins are filling up the supermarkets. Though you may be tempted to carve the traditional grinning features, try something different like a fiendish fairy house. Pumpkin also tastes delicious so donít discard the flesh. Instead use it for a spiced pie or to make a big pot of warm soup. Toasted or roasted pumpkin seeds also make a healthy snack.
Cutting flesh out of the pumpkin can be tricky and you will need a sharp knife so get mum or dad to help with this. Cut off the top of the pumpkin and set aside. Scoop out the seeds and set aside for roasting. Cut out the flesh and begin working on the soup.
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan, and then add two small onions. Cook gently over a low heat for five minutes. Add the pumpkin flesh along with two teaspoons of sage or oregano and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour 700ml vegetable stock into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat, bring to the boil and then simmer for 12 minutes until the pumpkin is soft. Pour in 142ml of milk, bring to the boil once more and then remove from the heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before blending.
Meanwhile, get to work on your fiendish fairy house. Carve two circular windows where you might carve the eyes on the pumpkin. Lower down between the windows, carve an arch shape for the door.
Collect some twigs to make a stairway leading inside the fairy home. Lay two long sticks in front of you vertically. Glue shorter twigs across all the way down the length of the two long twigs. Allow to dry and then prop up against the doorway of the pumpkin house. Make a cross with two small twigs, glue in place and then stick this inside the pumpkin, over the window hole. Repeat with the other window. Place the pumpkin among some dried leaves and flowers. Put a tea light inside and pop the lid on.
When youíve finished you can sit down to a hot bowl of soup. Pour the soup into individual bowls and top off with some grated cheese.