Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pumpkin Madness

It's fall! You wouldn't know it based on the mid-90 degree weather and still green leaved trees, but it is autumn. I know this because Starbucks is now serving a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Since I have been spending a lot of time indoors, between work, taking care of baby, and trying to keep my house from turning into a disaster area, I figure I may as well make it feel like fall indoors. Crank up the air and bring on the comfort food!

Inspired by J's pumpkin pie baking last week (still enjoying the fruits of his labor...) I decided to make a pumpkin soup. And not from a Libby's can. From the actual pumpkin.

There it is, in all its pumpkin-y glory

Since I decided to do this on somewhat of a whim, it is a very simple soup - but that's what comfort food should be, shouldn't it?

I have NEVER made anything from a pumpkin before. So I had to start off with the fun process of cleaning out the seeds and stringy bits, which was surprisingly therapeutic. Like being a kid playing in the mud. It is interesting to see how many different ways people go about this process to make it easier - I simply used a big knife to cut it open, and a large spoon to gut it. ("I gut you like a sheep!")

My fancy pumpkin prepping tools

Once the pumpkin pieces had been prepped for cooking, I tossed them in a steamer pot for about a half hour, took them out, scooped the flesh into the blender, and made my puree. This collective process was the most difficult, as I have no patience and insisted on scooping the flesh before it had cooled. Ouch.

The rest was easy - diced half an onion and an apple and sauteed them in butter. Once the onions were translucent, I tossed some* vodka in the pot, let that simmer down, then added a bit of chicken broth, water, and half and half. (Basically, I tossed what I had sitting in the fridge that sounded good.)

For seasoning, a couple pinches of curry powder, chili powder, ground about a quarter nutmeg, dash of cinnamon, and some* salt.

Looks like baby food...yum?

Now the plan was to toss all of this back into a blender and make it smooth and creamy. Things did not go as planned, however, as our 9 week old had finally fallen asleep after a very difficult afternoon full of screaming, so the desire for a happy child outweighed the desire for a creamy soup.

But we still ate it. And it was still good - probably not so much for someone who isn't a fan of texture, but the flavors were all there.

And it looked like fall. A messy, tasty fall.

Kind of like jumping in the pile of leaves your dad just raked.

I may not be pretty, but I get the job done...

* If you are reading this and thinking about following a "recipe", you'll notice that I say "some" a lot. Not a cup, or a tablespoon. Just some. I don't measure things when I cook. Which is why I seldom bake. Baking is all math and science to me - cooking is art. Just slap that paint on the canvas. :)

Listening to: the sweet sounds of no screaming...and a song from Sondheim's "Company"
Current Mood: autumnal. yes, I am making it a mood


  1. I totally agree with you on the baking!!!! I suck at it. I think you just hit the nail on the head with what you said, totally science.


  2. I feel the need to pick up a wee pumpkin this weekend. will report back the results.

  3. Exciting! Can't wait to hear back. Send me a photo of the results and I'll post it :)

    A couple of falls ago, Jaycel made pumpkin cookies from scratch...they were delicious. I may feel compelled to put in a request for those this season.

  4. The right dish (or bowl) goes a looong way too. That looks good.

  5. First of all props ( I always feel like Cher Horrowitz when I use that word...) for cooking anything at all with a newborn on your hands! What did you do with the pumpkin seeds? I love roasting them, half a batch with kosher salt and garlic powder, half with cinnamon and brown sugar. Yum! Is it possible to read the blog of someone you hardly know and instantly feel so kindred you want to say, like the five year old inside of you, do you want to be my best friend?