A Very Pumpkin Meal (Pumpkin Soup & Dinner in a Pumpkin)

This past weekend I went to visit one of my best friends in Connecticut to see the fall foliage and do a bit of New England-y things (every NYC girl needs a little escape!) Unfortunately for us, the apple orchards had closed that week for the season, which foiled some of our fall-style cooking plans. As a plan B, my friend’s mom suggested we try out some recipes she found in the Hartford Courant, all about ways to use pumpkins for things other than pie. Now, I don’t know about all of you but I am a pumpkin enthusiast. Anything pumpkin, I have to try. In college, I used to go back for multiple slices of pie during the dining hall’s week of Thanksgiving treats. When Starbucks came out with their pumpkin bread and spice lattes, I was there in line to try them. You get the picture…

My friend and I decided to be adventurous and try these “outside-the-box” pumpkin dishes…which produced delicious results (albeit slightly messy). So, get out your best pumpkin carving knives and get your kids ready to dig out some pumpkin seeds, because these easy recipes are sure to be hits at any fall or Halloween gathering!

Pumpkin Soup (adapted from the Hartford Courant)

6 cups chicken or vegetable sock
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup whipping cream (or evaporated skim milk)
5 whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon chopped parsley (for garnish)
1 apple, chopped into cubes (for garnish)

1) Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorn. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer COVERED for 30 minutes.
2) Puree the soup in small batches (one cup at a time) using a food processor or blender.
3) Return to pan, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, covered (magic word). Stir in heavy cream. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley and apples.

Dinner in a Pumpkin (adapted from the Hartford Courant)

1 medium sugar pumpkin
1 1/2 pounds lean ground meat
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teapoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups tomato juice
3 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 pound fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
1 cup uncooked white rice

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash pumpkin, cut off top, scrape out seeds and discard.
2) Place ground meat in large, deep skillet and cook over medium heat until evenly brown.
3) Drain fat, add onion and garlic; sauté slightly.
4) Add sugar, Italian herbs, salt, pepper, tomato juice and rice; mix thoroughly.
5) Layer inside of pumpkin with 1/3 of cabbage, green beans and rice/meat mixture. Repeat layers, replace lid and bake for 2-3 hours.

*For variations, try different veggies or kinds of meat.

Happy Cooking and Happy Halloween! :)


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2 responses to “A Very Pumpkin Meal (Pumpkin Soup & Dinner in a Pumpkin)

  1. Pingback: Happy Birthday, Blog! | (Mainly) Gluten Free in NYC

  2. Pingback: A Time for Apples! | (Mainly) Gluten Free in NYC

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