Last week the girls and I decided to visit our neighbor's apple orchard for our afternoon snack and once there, we realized that pumpkin season had begun. I don't so much go for the jack o lantern pumpkins (unless they are almost free) but the little pie pumpkins were too much to pass up. The girls were delighted with the prospect of making a pie even though neither of them has ever had any and so after some deliberations over which one to choose, we headed home with our pumpkin. [caption id="attachment_1389" align="alignleft" width="224" caption="So proud of their pumpkin that they wanted a picture."][/caption]
We tossed the clean but unwashed seeds in a teeny tiny bit of oil and salt then lightly toasted them in the oven at 300 degrees (about 20 minutes or less).
I find the easiest way to cook pumpkin or squash is to cut in half, clean out and place face up in a pan with about a half inch of water. I then bake it in the oven at 350* for 1/2 an hour to an hour, depending on the size. Just until soft. Then I scoop out the flesh and puree it up. Usually we do this and freeze up a bunch for quick easy soups, scones, pancakes, and the occasional pie during the winter.
While Dan and I could have happily eaten four pies, I decided that we should have soup for supper. I have made several variations of this but finally remembered to write it down! We also like to try curried or sage or some other more intense flavours, but this one is nice and subtle with the pumpkin being the main event. It took the girls a few spoonfuls to remember that they really do like it but then they enjoyed it with us. On a cool fall day, it is a delightful supper.
Creamy Pumpkin Soup
¼ c. Butter
1 medium Onion, sliced in smallish pieces.
1 apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 floret of garlic (this is the blossoming part of the garlic which I used but I think probably you would use 3 cloves instead)
3 c. Pumpkin Puree (If I have just cooked it, I will wait to puree it later in the soup making process.)
1 ½ c. heavy cream
1 ½ c. chicken broth
½ tsp. Cinnamon
¼ or less tsp. Ginger
few shakes each of cloves, nutmeg and red pepper flakes
1 tsp Sea Salt
- Sauté the onion, apple and garlic in butter until soft.
- Add pumpkin and sauté briefly.
- Puree everything in food processor until smooth. Be careful of heat bubbles when opening!
- Pour into a large saucepan then add liquids and spices. On a low heat, mix until thoroughly heated.
Goes well with biscuits or a nice crusty bread. We like to add a sprinkling of Asiago cheese and toasted pumpkins seeds as it really enhances the flavor.
I have also made this without cream or milk and with potatoes to thicken it and more broth for those who don't use dairy.
On that note, in the same way that the pie and soup making took two days; my tired eyes and mind are telling me that sharing the recipes will also take two days. Coming up: Pumpkin pie sweetened with honey and a gluten free crust. That's just on my blog, our kitchen and tummies will be full of so many other pumpkin-y delights in the coming weeks.
Happy Pumpkin Time!