Pumpkins Aren’t Just for Carving!

Dear world,

My family and I opted to go to our neighbor’s farm, Parke Creek Farm, instead of to a pumpkin patch in town or (worse) picking out a Jack – o – Lantern from a cardboard bin at the grocery store!

We were greeted by owner, Bambi Miller who took us out to her pumpkin patch and surrounding farm fields and gave us a quick lesson on pumpkins and varieties. The children were amazed and my youngest ‘collector’ son gathered 12 pumpkins for himself including a few Long Island Cheese, Cinderella, Punkymon and a non-edible Jack-o-Lantern pumpkin – which will actually turn orange after it’s picked. Although, I kind of like it as is!

It was enjoyable to go out on a sunny day and muck around in our Wellington boots and choose pumpkins. Bambi made a mention of how good soups and pies can be from the edible heirloom varieties she grows which got my mouth watering and the wheels turning in my head…

Just as I was about to leave one of their CSA customers arrived to get her vegetables and a beautiful bunch of beets caught my eye. Bambi generously picked two bunches for me and I promised to return and sign up for their CSA (I had no clue they offered one!).

The moment I returned home, I got out my cookbooks and went online to find a great pumpkin soup recipe. Below is the recipe I used (which is a culmination of many recipes):

6 cups of Long Island Cheese pumpkin, cut into large chunks

2 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, sliced

5 carrots, sliced

5 potatoes, sliced

2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock

2 cups of milk

1 tablespoon of freshly ground nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

First, slice up the pumpkin, discard seeds and dice it into chunks that are about 1-3 inches. Place on parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in a 400°F oven for 30-40 minutes.

Next, heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed stockpot. Add the onions and cook until soft, but not brown. Add the potatoes, carrots, nutmeg and one cup of the vegetable stock. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.

Meanwhile, take the pumpkin out of the oven, slice off the rind and add the chunks to the stockpot. Add the rest of the vegetable stock, stir and let simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally for another 15 minutes.

Cool the soup. Then, in batches, purée the soup. Be sure to rinse out stockpot before returning the puréed soup.

Add approximately 2 cups of milk and bring the soup to a low boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For serving, I grated some fresh nutmeg on top of a tablespoon of crème fraiche. Serve piping hot.

A Few Tips and Tricks

  • If you use a large pumpkin, as I did, you can roast the unused portion of the pumpkin, cut off the rind and store in the freezer.
  • If you make a large batch of soup and wish to freeze some, then be sure to put it into the storage container before you add the milk. It will freeze better and last longer. Add the milk proportionately when you thaw and re-heat.
  • I shared a batch with someone who added a half teaspoon of curry before re-heating and said it was delicious!
As for which wine to pair? I tried it and had success with a Pinot Noir, a California Chardonnay and a spicy Syrah. The soup pairing is versatile depending on which and how much spice(s) you use.

Happy soup making and please feel free to share your pumpkin or other great fall and winter soup recipes!




~ by winnieswineworld on October 20, 2011.

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