The Tale Of The Pumpkin & Our Homemade Soup

30th October 2020


The orange pumpkin has long been a symbol of the autumn season. Decorating pumpkins at home, carving them and scooping out the seeds is a tradition that many families love to do together.
But where did this idea come from and what is the history behind it all?
Pumpkin carving dates way back to ancient cultures and it was the Celtic culture that first introduced it – originating from an old Irish Folk tale called ‘Stingy Jack’.
The Legend tells that Jack invited the Devil himself to drink with him, but here’s the thing, Jack wasn’t called ‘Stingy Jack’ for no reason. True to his name, Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink and so he tricked the Devil into paying the bill. When Jack passed away, his punishment was that he could not move onto the afterlife, God would not allow such an unsavoury figure into heaven, and the Devil would not claim his soul and allow him into Hell.
Jack was eternally cursed to wander the Earth in the dead of the night, with only a single coal of ember to guide his way. Jack would place his light into a hollowed turnip and from then on was known as ‘Jack of the Lantern’ or ‘Jack-o-Lantern’ for short.
The tradition was born and the Irish began to carve out vegetables, placing them into windows or near doors, believing that they would frighten away ‘Stingy Jack’ and other evil, and light the way for good spirits.

As well as providing messy fun for all of the family, Pumpkins can also provide the ingredients for something else. Our talented chefs here at The Fermain Valley Hotel are giving you their favourite healthy pumpkin soup recipe. Now all you have to do is sit back, relax and take in all of your hard carved work whilst you sip on your delicious homemade soup. Yum!

Serves 4-6 people
1kg pumpkin
1 medium sized onion
1 thumb sized ginger stem
1 tin of coconut milk
1 litre vegetable stock
Toasted pumpkin seeds

Fry your diced onion with a pinch of salt and pepper until softened, add your chopped up pumpkin and grated ginger. Cook for 10-12 minutes, add coconut milk and vegetable stock and simmer for 20 minutes. In the meantime toast your pumpkin seeds for garnish.
Use a blender blitz your soup, check seasoning, garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy.

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