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

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Chicken Apple Sausage

2 teaspoons oil

1 small onion, diced

1 medium sweet apple, such as Gala or Honeycrisp, peeled and diced

1 pound ground chicken

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon fennel fennel seed, chopped

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add apples and cook, stirring, 2 more minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cool for 5 minutes. Wipe out the pan. Add chicken, sage, sugar, fennel, salt and pepper to the bowl with the apples and onions. Gently mix to combine. Generously coat the pan with cooking spray and heat over medium. Using a 1/3-cup measure, scoop 4 portions of the sausage mixture into pan, flattening each into a 3-inch patty. Cook until the patties are browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning. Coat the pan with cooking spray again and repeat with remaining sausage mixture.