soup

Pumpkin soup in its shell

Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, chronicling her family’s year-long locavore experience, was a combination of my favorite author and two of my favorite interests: gardening and cooking healthy food. I devoured the book and then several of the recipes in it.

This recipe for pumpkin soup, served in its shell, has become a Sukkos tradition. My kids (and guests) are thrilled when we bring the whole pumpkin to the table, remove the lid and ladle the soup right from the gourd.

PUMPKIN SOUP
1 pie pumpkin, made for cooking (these are smaller than the ones sold for decorating)
1 can coconut milk
8oz. soy milk
32 oz. water or stock
T salt
t cinnamon
t ginger
freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut the top off the pumpkin and save it for the lid. Scoop out the seeds and save them for roasting. Place the pumpkin in a tin large enough to hold it. Fill the pumpkin with the stock or water, soy milk, salt and coconut milk. Cover the hole with a piece of tin foil and replace the lid. Bake the pumpkin at 375° for 1-2 hours, depending on its thickness. Occasionally open lid and check with a spoon, carefully scraping some inside flesh into the hot liquid.

Now here’s the tricky part. The pumpkin tends to collapse after an hour or so, which won’t ruin the soup, but will ruin the cool container! As a precaution, I pour the liquid into a pot and carefully scrape some of the insides of the pumpkin into the pot as well. I continue cooking the soup in the pot, so that the total cooking time adds up to about an hour. Add the spices and puree once the pumpkin flesh in the soup is soft. To serve, reheat the soup in the pot (and the pumpkin separately in the oven–the soup will take forever to heat if you try to heat it in the pumpkin in the oven), pour the soup into the pumpkin and serve with a ladle. Good luck!

And now for those seeds…

ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS
Toss the seeds with 2T melted butter and t salt. Roast for 45 minutes on 300 degrees, until golden brown.

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3 thoughts on “Pumpkin soup in its shell

  1. how do you make a good pumpkin soup out of the pumpkin? i want to make it for thanksgiving, but will need very large quantity and prefer not to cook multiple pumpkins in the oven. thanks for ideas!
    debbie libman klein

    • Hi Debbie! I usually make this soup for 8-10. I’m not sure how many you’re serving, but you could probably use 2-3 pumpkins. just stick them in the oven at 400 with a few knife piercings in them to release steam. Once they’re soft (30 minutes, maybe?), it takes just a minute to get the seeds and flesh out. Save one or 2 to keep whole for the effect of serving out of the shell, if you want, but you can make the whole huge soup in a stock pot all at once. Then, when you serve, you can pour a little bit back in the shell.

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