What to do with pumpkins after Halloween: how can I use my old carved pumpkin - from soup to feeding wildlife

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There are a number of ways you can dispose of your pumpkin after Halloween in the UK

Halloween may have been and gone, but if you’ve got lots of leftover pumpkin then you may be wondering what to do with it.

From making delicious pumpkin soup to feeding wildlife, there’s plenty of options for using your leftover pumpkin after Halloween. Here’s how to use your old carved pumpkin.

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What can I do with leftover pumpkin?

Cook

If you’re in the mood for cooking, then there are plenty of delicious pumpkin recipes you can make, including a warming pumpkin soup.

Pumpkin soup recipe

Try this tasty pumpkin soup recipe from BBC Good Food.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1kg pumpkin or squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks
  • 700ml vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 150ml double cream

For the croutons

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices wholemeal seeded bread, crusts removed
  • handful pumpkin seeds

Method

Step 1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan, then gently cook 2 finely chopped onions for 5 mins, until soft but not coloured.

Step 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.

Step 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.

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Step 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.

Step 5.  To make the croutons cut 4 slices of wholemeal seeded bread into small squares.

Step 6. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, then fry the bread until it starts to become crisp.

Step 7. Add a handful of pumpkin seeds to the pan, then cook for a few mins more until they are toasted.

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Composting

Instead of letting your pumpkin go to landfill, you can encourage your plants to grow by composting the veg. Break your pumpkins up so that they will break down quicker.

You could even use the compost from them to encourage growth in next year’s pumpkins if you wish to grow your own.

Feed the wildlife

If you leave broken up chunks of pumpkin in your garden then you could help to feed any local wildlife, as the vegetable makes the perfect snack for small animals such as squirrels and rabbits, and you can also give the pumpkin seeds to birds.

Pumpkin can give hedgehogs an upset stomach so maybe bear this in mind if you tend to have hedgehogs near where you live.

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Save the seeds

The seeds make a tasty snack for birds, for yourself or you can even plant them to grow more pumpkins for next year.

Donate them

You can also donate your pumpkins to local zoos or farms, where the animals can chomp on the vegetable as a snack.

It’s worth seeing if anywhere in your local area are looking for pumpkin donations, and if you bought them from a farm they sometimes take them back off after Halloween, so this is also worth checking.

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