In my experience, fall brings an initial obsession with everything pumpkin, but the novelty usually fades as the season progresses. Very few think about the different ways of preserving pumpkin or how to store it properly to get through the winter. Also, their use is typically limited to pies and carving.
In the kitchen, pumpkins shouldn’t be limited just to filling pies. They have a wide range of culinary uses including and not limited to soups, stews, sauces, smoothies, and juices. As I already mentioned a couple weeks ago, I enjoy a lightly seasoned pumpkin pie. In a soup, however I am open to more spice and seasoning that compliments the pumpkin while not overpowering it. In general spices should be used to enhance, compliment, or sometimes contrast – but should not be relied upon to disguise the essence of good quality local seasonal ingredients, such as pumpkin.
Pumpkin flesh is high in dietary fibre, vitamin A and potassium. Aside from the health benefits of the low calorie pumpkin flesh itself, the seeds hold many health properties on their own. Raw pumpkin seeds can help to rid the body of internal parasites. Raw or toasted pumpkin seeds are also great sources of protein, iron, and magnesium. Magnesium helps the body to better absorb calcium. The seeds are also high in vitamin E and B.
The recipe below one of many ways I like to enjoy the many delicious flavours and health properties of pumpkin.
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
- Pie Pumpkin
- Unsalted Butter
- 35% Cream
- Apples cut in matchsticks
- Cut pumpkins in half, scoop out seeds and the pulp-like stringy bit in the middle. Wash and dry the seeds then set them aside.
- Place pumpkins flesh side down with olive oil on a baking sheet seasoned with salt and pepper. Roast at 400F until tender and caramelized. This step makes a huge difference in the depth of flavour of the end product. If you’re pressed for time however, simply peel and then boil the pumpkin.
- Reduce oven to 350F and roast pumpkin seeds coated lightly with oil and a pinch of sea salt until golden brown, about 10 – 15 minutes.
- In a pot cook onions, garlic and a small amount of ginger in butter. Add pumpkin and water (or vegetable stock if available) and bring to a boil. Add nutmeg and cinnamon. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Puree soup or simply mash until desired consistency. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Add in a splash of sweet cream to finish the soup.
- In a small sauce pot brown butter on low heat until it starts to turn brown. Add sage leaves and turn off heat. Remove sage leaves, place on paper towel, should be crispy like you deep fried them and season with salt.
- Drizzle brown butter over soup and garnish with apples, pumpkin seeds and sage. Enjoy!