I love pumpkin! Pumpkin pie is a classic treat, but this lovely winter veggie is delicious in so many more dishes! All pumpkins are edible, but the ones intended for Halloween jack-o-lanterns aren't going to taste as wonderful as those grown to be eaten.
Last winter I did my first round of cooking with fresh pumpkins and haven't looked back. Turns out it isn't so hard to cook pumpkin - you can use your microwave, slow cooker, or roast chunks in the oven. I used one magical blue pumpkin to make, quite literally, the absolute best pumpkin pie I have ever eaten. The hunt for a blue pumpkin this year continues...
A great place to start with fresh pumpkin is soup. Want to know a secret? You don't need to peel your pumpkin for pureed soup. 1) it is more work and I'm lazy (strategic?) and 2) you're losing fiber, and you know how I feel about that.
Place your pumpkin on the cutting board and use a very sharp chefs knife to cut it in half. Your ice-cream scoop is the best way to remove the seeds and stringy bits. Cut out the spots where the stem is and chop into chunks. Voila - ready to go! I made this even easier for you by using the slow cooker. You're welcome :)
Thai Pumpkin Soup
- 1 small pie pumpkin, 2-3 pounds, seeded and cut into chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger paste (or fresh minced ginger)
- zest from 1 lemon
- zest from 1 lime
- 2 cups veggie or chicken broth (or water)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
- Wash pumpkin and cut off or peel any strange areas. Cut into chunks as described above. Place in slow cooker. Add all other ingredients, except for coconut milk, and stir.
- Cover, and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or until pumpkin cubes are very tender when poked with a fork. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Shake coconut milk can, open, and pour into soup. Stir, cover, and heat for 20-30 minutes or until soup is hot. Add salt and pepper if needed and serve.
This recipe is adapted from The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester.