My neighbor took me to a place nearby that sells all kinds of pumpkins. I asked for a good soup pumpkin and they picked this one for me. It is not as huge as some so I was surprised that it was 15+ pounds. I found that most recipes called for 2-3 pounds of pumpkin. I ended up using 5 for my soup so that left me with a lot leftover for pumpkin butter.
The daughter-in-law of the neighbor that took me shopping makes an excellent creamy pumpkin soup. I don't have her recipe yet so I didn't want to try to duplicate hers and be disappointed so I took mine in a completely different direction...chunky with southwestern flavors. I started with a Mark Bittman recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian for inspiration but then I changed it up quite a bit. This would be really good with some red pepper flakes for heat but Sophia still doesn't care for anything too spicy so I didn't go in that direction.
Chunky Pumpkin Soup
3 tablespoons canola oil
5 pounds pumpkin
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
Salt and pepper
2 cans black beans, rinsed
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
Put the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin, cumin, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking until fragrant, another minute or so. Add the beans, tomatoes, and broth and bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the soup bubbles gently. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin starts to fall apart, about 30 minutes. Stir in the cilantro just before serving.
Spiced Pumpkin Butter
Five pounds of pumpkin makes a lot of soup and I still had more than 10 pounds left to do something with. So, I decided to makes some pumpkin butter. I got the recipe from eHow. Kenny laughed a little bit. He thought I should have been able to find a recipe from a better source, but I wanted a recipe using fresh pumpkin, no sugar, and ingredients I had on hand. This was it. I multiplied the recipe for the pounds of pumpkin I had, and I made two big pots. I used an immersion blender so I didn't have to transfer to a blender or a food processor. I used all of my maple syrup, raided Mary's pantry, and still didn't have quite enough so my second pot had some dark brown sugar in addition to the maple syrup.
It is a big hit. Bread with pumpkin butter is the only snack Sophia is asking for right now.
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