Pumpkin Soup in its own Shell

1 five lb. pumpkin (if smaller or larger, adjust the amount of liquid)

1 quart chicken or vegetable stock

1 quart milk or soy milk

½ cup fresh sage leaves (use less if dried)

3 tbsp chopped garlic

2 tsp. sea salt

Pepper to taste

Cut a lid off the top, scoop out the seeds and stringy parts, and rub the inside flesh with salt. Set the pumpkin on a large roasting pan. Roast garlic cloves whole in oven or covered pan on low heat, until soft. Combine with liquid and spices in a large pot, mashing the cloves and heating carefully so as not to burn the milk.

When the pumpkin is ready, fill with the liquid and replace the lid, putting a sheet of foil between the pumpkin and its top so it doesn’t fall in. (If you accidentally destroyed the lid while hollowing the pumpkin, just cover with foil.) Bake the filled pumpkin at 375° for 1-2 hours, depending on the thickness of your pumpkin.

Occasionally open lid and check with a spoon, carefully scraping some inside flesh into the hot liquid. If the pumpkin collapses or if the flesh is stringy, remove liquid and flesh to a blender and puree. With luck, you can serve the soup in the pumpkin tureen.

Recipe from Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Squash Stewed in Coconut Milk

This sweet, warm dessert is perfect in fall or winter.  Coconut milk provides calcium, iron, magnesium, and other minerals.  Squash is full of beta carotene.  Be sure to add the pumpkin seeds for protein.

3 c. coconut milk

½ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar, or honey (optional)

1 med. hubbard, kabucha (Sunshine), or butternut squash, cubed (7 to 8 c.)

½ c. toasted pumpkin seeds

Place coconut milk, salt, cinnamon, and sweetener in pan.  Bring to a gentle boil over med. Heat while you prepare the squash.  Peel hubbard or butternut squash if using.  Kabucha (Sunshine squash) doesn’t need to be peeled – just wash it.  Cut off stem ends.  Cut open squash and remove pulp and seeds.  Cut squash into 1-inch cubes.  Add to coconut milk mixture and return to boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 min., or until squash is tender.  Don’t stir the mixture so squash cubes can retain their shape.  Ladle squash and liquid into bowls and sprinkle seeds over the top.  Makes 8 servings.

Recipe from The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook, Cathe Olson.

Soup in a Pumpkin

When choosing a pumpkin for this soup, look for a well-shaped one that will stand up level on the table.  You will bake and serve the soup in the pumpkin – a lovely touch that requires very little work.

1 well-shaped 5 pound pie pumpkin                                                                                1 c. grated Gruyere or mozzarella cheese

1 c. chopped baked ham                                                                                   2 c. toasted croutons

2 c. light cream, or more as needed                                                                  Pinch nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Remove top from the pumpkin and reserve.  Scoop out the seeds and fibers.  Fill the pumpkin with layers of cheese, ham, and croutons.  In a small mixing bowl, combine cream, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.  Pour into pumpkin, adding more cream if necessary to fill the shell.  Cover with aluminum foil and place pumpkin on a large baking pan.  Bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours, stirring several times, until pumpkin is tender inside.  Remove aluminum foil.  Place pumpkin on a large serving dish.  Cover with reserved pumpkin top.  Serve the soup directly from the pumpkin.  Serves 4

Pumpkin Waffles

2 c. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

3 eggs

1 ¾ c. milk

¾ c. cooked and mashed pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree

½ c. oil

½ c. chopped nuts

Brush waffle iron lightly with oil and preheat it.  Into a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, milk, pumpkin, and oil.  Stir pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients and mix well.  Stir in nuts.  Spread a ladleful or so of batter onto waffle iron and bake until done, usually 3-5 min., depending on iron.  Serve immediately.  NOTE: If you are making waffles for a crowd, you can hold them in a 200 F oven for 15 min. as you make more waffles.  Serves 4.