There are pumpkins everywhere...
It's Halloween in a few days and everyone is getting ready to carve their big and scary veg.
Where I'm from we didn't do Halloween up until 10 years ago, we do have an 'all saints day' on november 1 and 'all souls day' on november 2.
On this dates we go and put flowers on the graves and mostly spend the day cleaning the gravestones.
Halloween is on the evening of the 31st of October, once referred to as 'All hallows eve' it's the evening before 'All hallows day'.
But the roots of this feast go back further in time than most of us realize, the Celts called it Samhain which celebrated the end of harvest and the beginning of winter.
Bonfires played a big part in these festivities, people would jump over them or walk between two fires as a cleansing ritual.
Turnips instead of pumpkins were hollowed, carved with faces, placed in windows or doorways to ward off evil spirits.
Costumes and masks were worn, as an attempt to cast of the evil spirits or taunt them. This was the evening when the veil between our world and the spirit world or the 'Netherworld' was believed to be thin.
Trick-or-treating is said to resemble the late medieval practice of souling, when poor people would go door to door on 'Hallowmas', receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on 'All Souls Day'.
My mum always told me that there used to be a custom of setting an extra plate at the table for a loved one who had died. In her story there were also hollowed turnips at the doors to cast of evil spirits and to allow the 'good ones' in.
Are you going to remember a loved one this Halloween? Be sure to set them a plate at the table. For food is best enjoyed with those you love...
I had never heard of parsley root before, the lady at the market told me it's delicious in pumpkin soup. So here it is, a sweet and warming bowl of goodness.
What do you need
1 small pumpkin (like in the picture, about 500gr)
1,5L chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 onion, chopped
1 small potato
2 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoons Chili flakes
5 parsley roots (if you can't find it, you can leave it out or use some leftover celeriac)
Heat the stock, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, potato and parsley roots.
Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes without the lid on.
Puree the soup and bring back to the boil, add half of the chilli flakes and simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve and garnish with the rest of the chilli flakes, some thyme leaves and a turn of the black pepper mill.
I served this soup with home made croutons, delicious.