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Year of the Soup: Week 44

In a perfect world, this soup would have made a beautiful presentation.  Having roasted inside the pumpkin shell for 2 hours in the oven, it would come out steaming hot, and be served straight out of its own squash tureen to the oohs and ahhs of our guests.

Right.  In the real world, the pumpkin shell busted open mid-roasting, the soup didn’t contain enough pumpkin flesh to actually taste like pumpkin (it was more like sage and warm milk), and the pumpkin tureen collapsed into a leathery mass that resembled a football.  So much for best laid plans.  (I took this photo mid-roast, by the way, just in case something went wrong.  Good move on my part.)

I was very excited about this soup because of the novelty factor, but I’m convinced that you couldn’t possibly make it work.  To scrape enough flesh into the soup it is nearly impossible not to damage the structural integrity of the pumpkin shell.  Also, the flesh that gets scraped from the inside comes out in chunks, making it mandatory that you run the soup through a food processor after you take it out of the oven.  Scooping soup out of a super-soft pumpkin without causing it to collapse is not an easy task.  I don’t know how you could actually make this soup work as planned, so, sadly, I don’t recommend it.  But it was a fun experiment, and it made the house smell good :)

Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Soup in its Own Shell

Ingredients
  • 1 five lb. pumpkin (if smaller or larger, adjust the amount of liquid)
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 1 quart milk or soy milk
  • ½ cup fresh sage leaves (use less if dried)
  • 3 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • Pepper to taste
Directions

Cut a lid off the top, scoop out the seeds and stringy parts, and rub the inside flesh with salt. Set the pumpkin on a large roasting pan.  Roast garlic cloves whole in oven or covered pan on low heat, until soft. Combine with liquid and spices in a large pot, mashing the cloves and heating carefully so as not to burn the milk. When the pumpkin is ready, fill with the liquid and replace the lid, putting a sheet of foil between the pumpkin and its top so it doesn’t fall in. (If you accidentally destroyed the lid while hollowing the pumpkin, just cover with foil.) Bake the filled pumpkin at 375° for 1-2 hours, depending on the thickness of your pumpkin. Occasionally open lid and check with a spoon, carefully scraping some inside flesh into the hot liquid. If the pumpkin collapses or if the flesh is stringy, remove liquid and flesh to a blender and puree. With luck, you can serve the soup in the pumpkin tureen.

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