A couple years ago, in September 2019, I was fortunate to see the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival north of Stuttgart. It is the largest Pumpkin exhibition in the world and has a new theme every year
20 Years Pumpkin Festival at the Ludwigsburg Castle
In 2019, the theme of the pumpkin exhibition was „Fabulous Fairytale of the World“
The Pumpkin festival in Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart is every year at the end of August at the Ludwigsburg Castle Gardens. It has a display of 450,000 pumpkins that are artistically designed into sculptures
The first Pumpkin exhibition took place at the Juckerhof in 1997 at the town of Seegräben. Three years later, the Jucker brothers Martin and Beat Jucker brought the Pumpkin exhibition to the “Barock in Bloom” (Blühendes Barock) at the Ludwigsburg castle gardens. Since then, there has been a Pumpkin exhibition almost every year. There you find 600 sorts of aromatic edible pumpkins, colourful ornamental pumpkins, glowing carved pumpkins and gourds.
We enjoyed a cuisine of spaghetti and Cheese spätzle made from pumpkin. The other menu option were pan-fried pumpkin or pumpkin Maultaschen, Pumpkin Soup, hash browns, tartes flambées, burgers, also pumpkin pie and Strudel as dessert. For refreshments we had pumpkin secco and spritzer.
While strolling the grounds we saw several booth that sold freshly roasted pumpkin seeds for snacking. We bought some baked pumpkin seed bread from the bakery to take home.
The Hokkaido pumpkin has a nutty, fine taste. The other option, a Butternut Squash, stands out for its tender and buttery pulp and should make the soup even more creamier
Wash the Pumpkin, cut in half and clean, remove the kernels.
Cut the cleaned pumpkin in cubes.
Peel the potatoes and onions, cut in cubes.
Peel the garlic and mince.
Place butter in a hot pot and let melt.
Fry the onions and garlic till translucent.
Add the pumpkin and potato cubes to the pan and steam for 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour in the same pan the vegetable broth.
Cook on low to medium for 30 minutes, stir occasionally.
Turn down the heat.
Puree the soup or use a mixer, add the cream.
Spice with salt and pepper to your liking.
Place into soup bowls and add a tbsp of whole or sour cream on top.
Garnish with the chopped parsley.
The best way to keep pumpkin soup, is in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator. Let it cool down completely beforehand, it should keep around 3-4 days. If you want to cook pumpkin soup in advance, you can also freeze it and it'll at last at least 3 months.