Pumpkins and Halloween go together like.. well, one cannot think of Halloween without planning a trip to the pumpkin patch at a local farm. Over the years, I have seen houses decorated with bales of hay, corn stalks and more often than not, LOTS of pumpkins! Some are carved in the spirit of Halloween and some are not. So what does one do with the uncarved ones? It seems like such a waste to just throw them out, even if they end up in the composter. Besides, pumpkins contain huge amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, are rich in dietary fiber and Potassium, and beta carotene. Antioxidants, heart and vision health and weight control are just some of the benefits from eating pumpkins and their seeds!
A coworker of mine told me that every year he drives around his neighbourhood to pick up the uncarved pumpkins that are left on the curb so that he can cook them and make a huge amount of puree to freeze. Throughout the year, he will use it for soups, pies and even breads. This was MY reminder that it was time to do something with my uncarved pumpkins!
I decided to make a soup out of the first one. The easiest way to cook the flesh is to cut it in half, place it cut side up on a cookie sheet, cover it with tin foil and bake it at 350°F for about 60 minutes. Once it can be scraped out of its shell, it’s good enough. It will continue cooking in the pot.
So here’s what you will need:
scooped out cooked pumpkin (about 4 cups)
1/3 cup diced onion
3 large cloves of garlic
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 tsp freshly grated turmeric
2 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of nutmeg
1-2 tbsp salt
Adjust these quantities according to the size and yield of your pumpkin. Mine was a medium one.
Place the cooked pumpkin in a large pot. Add all the ingredients except the orange zest and add enough water to cover.
Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add the orange zest and let it cool down a bit before blending it smooth.
Before serving, heat it and stir in some grated parmesan cheese, a little milk or cream or leave it as is for a delicious vegan dish.
Worries go down better with soup – Jewish Proverb