This month’s #SimplerLiving looks at Halloween, pumpkin soup, and the brand new Stockton cook stoves.
Get back to simpler living with Stovax’s brand new Stockton Wood Burning & Multi-fuel Cook Stoves range. Available in two sizes, the 8 and the larger 11, Stockton cook stoves make a great addition to a kitchen or dining room and encourage us to get back to simpler living. Designed with a durable, polished cooktop, Stockton cook stoves allow you plenty of space to heat multiple pans as well as a kettle on a spacious hotplate. With optional warming shelves, freshly cooked food can be taken off the heat and kept warm to one side, giving you space to cook other dishes.
These stunning cook stoves offer a superb flame picture, and can be selected in both single and double door versions. Metallic blue, brown and green colours are also available in addition to the classic matt black, giving plenty of choice for your interior – whether country-style or more contemporary-chic. Designed to burn logs with optimum efficiency, each model can also be quickly and easily converted for multi-fuel purposes with an optional multi-fuel kit.
Before we start to get excited for the festive season, Halloween comes first, drawing autumn to a close. It is thought to have originated with the Gaelic festival, ‘Samhain’, which marked the end of the harvest season and the start of winter.
Later, Pope Gregory III assigned November 1st ‘All Saints’ Day’, where saints and martyrs were honoured. The evening beforehand was known as ‘All Hallows’ Eve’, which eventually evolved into Halloween.
Over time, it’s become that pumpkin-carving, fancy dress, trick-or-treating time of year – and also a great time to make use of the bombardment of pumpkins in the kitchen!
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1kg pumpkin or squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks
700ml vegetable stock
150ml double cream
For the croutons
2 tbsp olive oil
4 slices wholemeal seeded bread, crusts removed
handful pumpkin seeds from a packet
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, then gently cook the onions for 5 mins, until soft but not coloured.
2. Add the pumpkin or squash to the pan, then carry on cooking for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally until it starts to soften and turn golden.
3. Pour the 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 the 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 the bread into small squares. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, then fry the bread until it starts to become crisp. Add a handful of pumpkin seeds to the pan, then cook for a few mins more until they are toasted. These can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container.
6. Reheat the soup if needed, taste for seasoning, then serve scattered with croutons and seeds and drizzled with more olive oil, if you want.
#CosyCarvings is a competition where you can create your best pumpkin “masterpiece” and place it in front of your stove or fire. Once you have created this, please share it with us on Twitter or Instagram using the following hashtag #CosyCarvings. You could be in with a chance of winning a luxurious hamper.
Read our #CosyCarvings blog post for more information!