With the harvest complete of its last of the summer crop butternut pumpkins, Watties has started making one of its most popular soups, Very Special Creamy Pumpkin.

While they are at peak freshness, over 1250-tonnes of Hawke’s Bay pumpkins are being turned into well over one million cans of this creamy soup during the next couple of weeks. Another classic ingredient is real cream.

Ian Mackay, Wattie’s product development manager, says butternut pumpkin is used because of its natural creamy texture, rounded pumpkin flavour and its consistently bright colour.

“To get the very best quality we make this soup from fresh butternut. You can’t beat making this soup from fresh ingredient which has a delicious taste profile.”

Mackay says that while pumpkins can be stored and used over many months, there is a risk that they start to lose flavour, texture and sweetness.

High in antioxidants, carotenoids, and fibre, butternut is a very versatile vegetable and an ingredient in over 20 of Wattie’s products.

Wattie’s Agricultural Manager Ivan Angland says the butternut crop is grown in the Hawke’s Bay as a rotation crop for tomatoes, which have already been harvested.

“Because of its tough skin, butternut is one of the easier crops we manage. Others like asparagus, peas, corn and tomatoes need to be processed within hours of harvesting.”

Wattie’s is the major processor of butternut pumpkins in New Zealand.

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