There may not be a single person who needs to be introduced to pumpkins, since they can be found practically everywhere on earth… at least wherever they can grow without having to struggle against extreme weather.
Translation by Tamás Vaski
Their place of origin is not entirely clear, with certain sources pointing to North America, others to the more tropical regions of Central and South America, where indigenous peoples in Texas and Mexico grew them.
Pumpkins reached Europe through Spanish colonizers. Their favorable physiological effects have been long known, used in treatments spanning from freckles and other skin defects all the way to snake bites and various diseases.
They arrived in Hungary at essentially the same time as tomatoes and peppers, but they ran their biggest career during the famine following the First World War. During this period of malnutrition, the cheap and easily growable pumpkin was considered a real treasure, not to mention its sweet flavor (back then sugar was also a luxury).
The most famous Hungarian pumpkin-type is the Nagydobos pumpkin. Its cultivation has made up a long tradition in the locality’s history, said to date all the way back to the late Feudal Period, to the lands of the Perényi Family.
The golden ages of Nagydobos pumpkins can be pinpointed to between 1920 and the early 1930s, as well as between 1936 and 1946. Today, however, the interest in this pumpkin-type with its own special trademark has once again sprung up.
Pumpkins can be baked on their own and are exceptional in desserts. But on a cool autumn day, a hot dish of pumpkin soup served with its own roasted seeds is just as amazing as it sounds.
-For two people-
- 500g Canadian pumpkin (a type of pumpkin)
- 1 onion
- 2 dl water
- 1 dl sour cream (20%)
- 1 bouillon cube
- Chili flakes
- To be added as soup-filler: chili pumpkin seeds
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Deseed the pumpkin and cut it into pieces, then place it in the oven. Bake it until it has softened nicely and can be scooped out of the skin.
Dissolve the bouillon cube in the water. Steam the onion before adding to it the pumpkin, the spices, the sour cream, and the water with the dissolved bouillon cube. Mix it all up using a blender or a mixer, then bring the entire mix to a boil.
If the mix seems too thick, water or sour cream can be added to it. Fresh spices can be added to it too according to taste, I added a bit of rosemary.
Roasted chili pumpkin seeds are the perfect soup-filler. They can be purchased pre-prepared in certain places, but if you can only find the pumpkin seeds without the chili, roast the seeds in a dry skillet and then spice them with the chili.
Photos and featured photo by Péter Csákvári/Hungary Today