Fall Pumpkins… more than just Jack ‘O Lanterns

October 19, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Last weekend we spent a day at the Farmers Market gathering up all of our favorite fall veggies.  Pumpkins are a particular favorite of mine in the fall, and not just for pie.

They are actually squash, and are a member of the Curcurbita family which includes cucumbers and zucchinis.  Although most people think of pumpkins a dessert, decoration or a seasonal drink at Starbucks, I like to think of pumpkins as a regular old fall veggie.  Here a few pumpkin recipes to help mix up your fall cooking and hopefully show you some new ways to enjoy this fall favorite!

Roasted Pumpkin Gratin from Angie’s Pangie’s

8 cups pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 flour
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil

Start out with a cute little pumpkin and cut it in half.  Remove the seeds and stringy stuff and discard.

Cut off the skin.  Now, I won’t lie to you here, my pumpkin was a complete pain in the butt to get to this point.  Not all pumpkins are created equal though, it depends alot on how “tough” the skin on your pumpkin is.  This one was stubborn.  Allow yourself some extra time to prep the pumpkin, if you get it done early – great, but at least you won’t be eating an hour late (like a certain blogger and her family who will rename nameless.)

Preheat the oven to 400 and grease a 13X9 baking dish.

Put the flour, salt and pepper in a bag.  Wash the pumpkin and drain it.  Add the pumpkin to the bag and shake.  Toss the excess flour and put the pumpkin in the prepared dish.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top and add extra salt and pepper, if you want to.

Add the minced garlic to the olive oil and stir well.  Then drizzle the oil all over the top of the pumpkin.

Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Because pumpkins can vary in texture your cooking time may vary.  My stubborn pumpkin took 40 full minutes to cook throughout.  Cutting your pumpkin in similar sizes and shapes will help it cook evenly.  The pumpkin should be soft with crispy cheese.  If the cheese begins to get too done before the pumpkin is soft, cover the pan with some foil.

Pumpkin & Butternut Squash Soup From Macheesmo

– 1 medium butternut squash
– 1/2 of a medium pumpkin
– 1 medium onion, diced
– 1 Cup carrots, chopped
– 3 Tablespoons butter
– 6 cups liquid (4 cups vegetable stock & two cups water.)
– 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne (adjust to your heat liking)
– 1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon (adjust to taste)
– Salt and pepper

Cube squash & pumpkin.

Get a large soup pan or sauce pan going over high heat and add your butter.  Saute your onions and carrots for 5 minutes until they start to soften, then add your squash and pumpkin.  Cook for another 5-10 minutes and then add your liquid!  The liquid should just cover all the veggies.

Bring everything to a boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are very tender.  Then, using a blender or immersion blender, take everything for a spin.  I had to blend mine in three batches in my stand blender.  Don’t overfill your blender unless you want orange walls.

Then pour your blended soup back into your large pot and return it to medium heat.  Add all your spices and taste for salt and pepper.  It should be really smooth but have just a hint of spice to it.


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