Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Punkin' Good Time

Remember the pumpkin my friend Anna gave me earlier this month? I carved it up today.

The pumpkin's stem kind of looks like a witch's hat!

I used various-shaped leaves as a template for the design I carved out.

As for the pumpkin seeds, I dried them out in a warm oven, then tossed them in melted butter, salt and pepper, and roasted them at 300 degrees for about thirty minutes. The hulls were crisp enough to break open with my teeth, and the kernels inside were still tender. Yum yum.

You can add whatever seasonings you like to your pumpkin seeds: try cinnamon, nutmeg, or even curry powder. If you prefer to eat the entire seed, hull and all, leave the seeds in the oven for another fifteen minutes, until they are a deep golden brown.
And as for the pumpkin flesh, I cut out as much of it as I could, and got about 2 cups. I roasted the pieces in the oven in another pan at the same time as the seeds. Then I sauteed two small onions in butter, added the roasted pumpkin along with 2 cups of chicken broth, and a few sprigs of thyme; simmered for half an hour, then pureed with an immersion blender (removing the woody bits of thyme first).

Try this lovely soup with garlicky croutons on top, or pancetta or smokey bacon bits. Also, why not experiment with your own flavourings - maybe a dash of curry powder, lime juice, and a slice or two of jalapeno pepper? Or try roasting a carrot or two along with the pumpkin pieces, just to get another veggie in.
Pumpkin fun doesn't have to end with Halloween - I hope you've had a safe and happy one!


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