Pumpkin season in New England.
For many years now I’ve wanted to take a trip around New England to see the autumn leaves change colour. So many American friends have told me that its one of the most amazing sights in the US and has to be seen to be believed as no photo can ever do it justice. Its a big claim, so in October this year my wife and I flew in Boston, hired a car and started our road trip taking in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and New York
Its always a bit of a concern when you’ve such high expectations for a trip but, thankfully, on this occasion my expectations were not only met but exceeded. New England in Autumn is simply beautiful (I’ll go into more detail in upcoming blogs), the range of colours on show in such a dramatic landscape are mind-blowing, and without doubt, one of the most spectacular places I’ve ever been to.
As a food photographer, food is never too far from my thoughts so it was great to see a thriving food culture with passion every bit as exciting as back home. It just so happened that we were travelling though New England during Pumpkin season and the run up to Halloween which provided the opportunity to see artisan US food culture in action. Although we’d be home before 31st October, it was fascinating to experience how big an event Halloween is, and just how omni-present the pumpkin is. Our road trip took us off the Interstate so we could see ‘small town America’ and it didn’t seem to matter how small the towns were, pumpkins, pumpkins patches, pumpkin bake sales and pumpkin festivals seemed to be taking over.
It really inspired to to document what I saw then give my own pumpkin soup recipe a try when getting home:
750g pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 onions, cut into wedges
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large potato, sliced
1 litre water
2 or 3 cubes chicken stock, crumbled
250ml double cream
1 1/4 tablespoons ground nutmeg, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
salt to taste
Hot Sauce to taste
Prep:5min › Cook:55min › Extra time:1hr › Ready in:2hr
1. Preheat oven to 220 C / Gas 7.
2. Place pumpkin, carrots and onions in a baking dish or roasting tin. Drizzle with vegetable oil.
3. Bake in preheated oven 40 minutes, until soft but not blackened.
4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring water and crumbled stock cubes to the boil. Cook potato in simmering water until soft, about 20 minutes.
5. Combine potato and water with roasted vegetables and puree in a liquidiser or food processor until smooth. Return to pan over low heat and stir in cream, nutmeg, pepper and salt. Heat gently; serve.