I bought one of those little pie pumpkins at the store a few weeks ago. They start cropping up everywhere in October, so I get the urge to make things from them.
Not things with scary faces. Things that are warm and tasty and go in my belly.
Being that we are on a super tight budget, when I get the urge to get creative in the kitchen, I have to resist the desire to just run out and buy whatever ingredients I feel like.
Sure, that $3 can of coconut milk isn’t that expensive, but when you start to add up every extra $3 and $5 purchase, you quickly find you can’t pay the electric bill.
So, not wanting my cheap pumpkin to go to waste, I set about making something from it using only what I happen to have in my house.
Pantry Pumpkin Soup
1 pie pumpkin
2-3 garlic cloves
Red Curry Paste/Spices
First things first, I have no photos of this, but you need to prep your pumpkin. Get a sharp knife (I like using a large, almost cleaver like one) and whack the pumpkin just to one side of the stem. From there, if you are using a big knife, you should be able to work your knife all the way through, giving you two halves.
Take a spoon and scoop the guts. That would be the seeds and the stringy things. The strings feel icky, so guts seems like an apropos description.
If you are feeling super Suzy Homemaker, set the seeds aside. Toss the guts. (In the trash. Don’t go playing catch with them.)
Place the two halves in an oven at 350 degrees, open side down in a pan that has a little water in the bottom. I let mine cook for 45 minutes or so. You want to watch for when the skin starts to change color a bit and if you poke it, it gives really easy, almost as if it will collapse on itself.
When you take the pumpkin out, the flesh will be ready to fall out of the skin. You can literally scoop it into a container, no blending required. (If you didn’t cook yours long enough, it will still work for the soup, but you may need to run it through the food processor.) Set pumpkin aside.
Chop up one small onion (or half of a large one) and smash 2-3 garlic cloves. Toss them in a warm pan of olive oil and sautee until softened. Always be careful when cooking garlic. Burning garlic will give it a bitter taste – very unpleasant in a pumpkin soup.
Once the onions and garlic are softened, throw in your pumpkin and desired spices. In my case, I had a jar of red curry paste in the fridge that seemed like a good idea.
Normally, I’d want to add coconut milk or cream here, but since neither were available, I added a little water and bouillon.
Once you’ve added all your ingredients, simmer on low, letting all the flavors blend.
You can, technically, serve the soup like this. Chunky. And in the past, that is what I would have done, as my food processor has a faulty seal, which means soup flying all over the kitchen. (Yes, I know this from experience.)
BUT…my last anniversary brought with it some awesome kitchen items, including an All Clad Immersion Blender. This is the first time I’ve had a chance to bust out this bad boy.
Once smooth, the soup is ready! In my case, it was ready sooner than I need to be, but that is fine. The longer it simmered, the more the flavors came together.
I served mine with a dollup of greek yogurt. So simple and filling.
But wait! There’s more!
Remember those seeds?
While my pumpkin halves were baking, I rinsed them off and tossed them on a baking sheet with some olive oil and spices. (This time, I used an Emeril spice blend we got from Costco. You can use any combination of spices that suits your palate.)
Roast at 375 degrees until golden brown. Mine didn’t take very long (10 minutes maybe).
You could go through the tedious process of shelling the seeds, but honestly, roasted and seasoned, they are tasty whole.
What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe? Do you enjoy cooking “from the pantry”?
It should be noted that I had no plans to blog about this – until the hubs ate his soup and said, “You need to blog this. It’s really good.”