Every fall I am overwhelmed by a desire to surround myself by pumpkins and winter squashes, one of the most enduring symbols of autumn’s bounty. Every year I make pumpkin soup. Every year Mr. Homesteader eats the soup politely but, I must admit, not that enthusiastically. Knowing his love of exotic flavors, I’ve tried lots of variations: with cinnamon and sweetness, with ginger and curry, with southwestern flavors. It was my most recent rendition of the perennial pumpkin soup, however, that won his heart and had him polishing off his soup in record time. And it was the most basic I’ve ever made. I present it to you here. I know it’s basic, but he really thought it was good!
Pumpkin sizes vary so much and this recipe is so easy that I offer this recipe casually, with no precise measurements. Begin by washing well and whacking in half one eating pumpkin or large winter squash. Scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh. Save those seeds, cleaned free of the flesh! Roasted, they’ll make great healthy snacks with lots of good omega-3s. Bake the pumpkin halves in an 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes, depending on size. If you can cover the pumpkin, put just a couple of tablespoons in the cavities where the seeds were located. If baking uncovered, fill each cavity about 2/3 full. After you’ve baked the pumpkin for 10 minutes, add one clove of garlic, unpeeled, to the pan and let it roast with the pumpkin for the remaining 20 minutes.
Scoop the roasted flesh from the skin, letting it cool a bit to make sure you can get every last bit. Cut off the tough end of the roasted garlic and squeeze it into a cooking pot with the pumpkin flesh. Add a splash of chicken, turkey, or vegetable stock and a splash or two of cream and/or milk. Blend everything with a stick blender, in a food processor, or in a stand blender, adding more cream or milk to get a smooth consistency. Season with salt and black pepper. Add a pinch each or so of finely ground cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and rubbed sage. Heat gently and serve.
Does your family eat pumpkin soup? Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe to share that you think Mr. Homesteader would like? He’s mighty adventurous!
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