Cold fall weather and hot comforting soups go hand in hand like ice cream and summer. What’s better than coming in from the cold to fill your belly with a bowl of warm, delicious soup? And what’s better than being able to reduce, reuse, recycle something you have already purchased for another great use? So how about we combine both those things!
Every year I take the decorative pumpkins that I put out for Halloween through Thanksgiving and turn them into creamy pumpkin soup. The pumpkin honestly is probably creamy enough on it’s own, but I add a cup of light coconut milk. This soup is filling. It can totally be eaten on it’s own as a meal.
As I was making my pumpkin soup last year from pumpkins that had been out on my porch for over a month, a friend of mine asked if I was sure that was a good idea. She was concerned the pumpkins had gone bad and always just tossed hers.
We seem to be living in a time when people are petrified of products expiring. Even though we’ve been told time and again that most of the dates are more for shelving and sale reasons. Those dates don’t mean that you immediately should throw out your products.
Back in the day before the time of expiration dates people used their good ol’ senses. When it came to food mainly sight, smell and finally…taste.
And sometimes you have to throw something out before the expiration! The other day I opened my one day old, practically full bottle of milk and it was B.A.D. Stunk like a skunk and thick as cottage cheese. But bigger chunks even. I have no idea what happened, maybe it was just a bad bottle, but I had to throw it out. No taste test needed there.
And in another recent example I had some pretty old milk in the fridge that looked fine, smelled fine but I took a sip and it definitely 100% was not fine. Gosh I’m doing a terrible job of trying to debunk expiration dates aren’t I?
No but really, just use your judgment. I have used sour cream that was starting to mold, just scoop the mold out, and it’s fine. Or cut the moldy bits off cheese (cheese that isn’t of the gorgonzola family of course), and again, just fine. My mom said her father used to leave chicken out the entire day before cooking it. Said it was better that way. More flavor. Hey, as long as no one gets sick, to each their own!
ANYWAY. Wow that was a digression. Back to the pumpkin. So I asked my friend if she even bothered cutting into her pumpkins before throwing them out. No, was her answer.
Pumpkins have an extremely long lifespan: between 8-12 weeks. I’m sure the generally cool weather helps. That’s if they are UNCARVED of course. Please DO NOT try to cook your jack-o-lantern after it’s been carved open for a month.
And of course, as soon as you cut into the pumpkin you will know if it’s bad or not. Or at least, I’m assuming you will. I’ve never actually cut into a bad pumpkin…
The soup is easy to make, though a couple of the steps are a bit time consuming, and the pumpkin needs to roast for almost an hour, so give yourself time for this. It’s great reheated so you can make it whenever you have some free time and eat it later.
This is one of my favorite, simple recipes because not only is it incredibly delicious and filling but it’s finding another use for an item. Reduce reuse recycle!
Oh and I top it with my favorite thing: parsley! My parsley plant is still in full production mode through November so I just pluck some off the plant, chop it up and sprinkle it over the soup. Mmmmm mmmmm good!
HOLIDAY ROASTED PUMPKIN SOUP
- 2 pumpkins
- Olive oil
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 shallots, diced
- 2 cups veggie stock
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- With a sharp knife, carefully cut the tops off the pumpkins and halve them
- Using a sharp spoon, remove the seeds and strings
- Brush the inside of the pumpkin with olive oil and place face down on the baking sheet
- Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the skin can be easily pierced with a fork. Move from oven and let cool, at least 10 minutes, and then peel the skin.
- In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the garlic and shallots. Slowly cook them over medium-low heat, being careful not to burn them, for about 3-4 minutes. Lower the heat if needed. I have found cooking on an electric stovetop and gas stovetop to be extremely different when it comes to temperature.
- Add the peeled pumpkin, veggie stock, coconut milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg to pot. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes.
- Turn heat off, and carefully ladle the mixture into a blender. Don’t transfer it all at once. Do it in batches to avoid a pumpkin disaster. Also to avoid disaster put a towel over the blender. Blend the mixture and pour into another pot. Repeat until original mixture is all blended.
- Once it’s all blended, put the pot back on the stove top on medium low heat for a few more minutes. Add more seasoning to taste if needed.
- Serve hot in a bowl and top with chopped parsley (or eat as is). Enjoy!