With the dark evenings drawing in and Halloween fast approaching, pumpkins appear to be everywhere. Although they are most commonly used for carving at Halloween, pumpkins provide a good source of nutrients and are great to use in cooking for a variety of sweet and savoury dishes. We have put together some interesting pumpkin facts as well as a delicious recipe which you can enjoy this Halloween.


Pumpkin Facts

  • The name pumpkin originates from the Greek word ‘Pepon’ which means ‘large melon’.
  • The average pumpkin weighs around 6kg.
  • Pumpkins are not vegetables; they are fruits belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family which also includes cucumber, melon and squash.
  • 100g of pumpkin contains just 26 calories.
  • Pumpkins are low in FODMAPs making them suitable for those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
  • Pumpkins are rich in Beta Carotene an important antioxidant which is converted into vitamin A and gives pumpkins their bright orange colour. Vitamin A is essential for proper vision and has also been found to reduce the risk of some cancers.
  • Pumpkin seeds are a great source of dietary fibre which is important in maintaining a healthy digestive system. 100g of seeds contain 18g of dietary fibre. Pumpkins are also a great source of polyunsaturated fats, and the minerals zinc and magnesium.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup Recipe


  • 1 medium sized pumpkin peeled, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 large white onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 vegetable stock cubePumpkin soup
  • 750ml boiling water
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • Handful of coriander
  • 300ml pot of reduced fat crème fraiche
  • Zest of an orange
  • 2 tsp butter or olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Handful of pumpkin seeds (optional)



  • Fry the onion and garlic with the butter or oil in a large saucepan until they are slightly soft.
  • Add the pumpkin and carrots and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  • Place the vegetable stock cube in the boiling water and add to the saucepan.
  • Cook on a medium to high heat for 20-25 minutes or until the pumpkin and carrot are soft. Add more water if necessary.
  • Remove from the heat, leave to cool for 15 minutes.
  • Add the crème fraiche, chilli flakes, paprika, cinnamon, coriander and orange zest and mix together well with a hand blender or in a food processor.
  • Top with the pumpkin seeds and serve with warm crusty bread.