Driving along the rural roads of Phuket, we chanced upon a tiny stall in front of a small house selling chopping boards made from tree trunks, pumpkins, limes and a handful of local greens. I do not have the vocabulary to ask, “Is it organic?”. But within 10 yards from the stall, an elderly man was tending the smallholding. I assumed it was as organic as we are going to get. The pumpkin cost us all of U$1.50. Pumpkins are incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins (especially vitamin A). I have a rapidly growing teenager, and she needs her vitamin A, which is instrumental for cell growth as well as immune system maintenance (and of course, good eyesight). Because pumpkins are root vegetables, they are fillers, but unlike other fillers (white rice, white bread), pumpkins fill you with goodness, too. I made pumpkin soup with the pumpkin I bought today. Here’s my recipe: Olive oil 4 cloves garlic, chopped About as much pumpkin as you see in the photo, cubed 1/2 an avocado a handful of cashews salt and pepper Distilled water Method: Saute the chopped garlic in olive oil until soft. Add the pumpkin and 1/2 cup of distilled water. Simmer until soft. Pour into a powerful blender. Add avocado (for creaminess) and cashews (for the nutty taste). Blend until smooth. You may wish to add more water to the desired consistency. Season to taste. I served my pumpkin soup always with the following garnishing: Chilli jam Fresh lime Sunflower seeds And of course, good warm bread with lashings of butter. Footnote: I had a spare pumpkin at home (I am in the habit of collecting roadside pumpkins) which I will make into baked pumpkin crisps. I have also roasted some for a quiche and probably an antipasti. By the end of the weekend, G will be squealing, “Please, no more pumpkin!” But it’s all good. Either eat pumpkin or liver, dear girl. Your choice. This was the roasted pumpkin platter. The only luxury was the landana cheese with white truffle.