I have tons of frozen pumpkin puree in the freezer. You see, I love buying pumpkins for holiday decorations. I get my money’s worth because I buy for Halloween, leave the pumpkins on the front steps for Thanksgiving, and then they finally meet their demise in a hot oven as they roast. I freeze all of the puree.
Roasting pumpkins is easy. Wash the outside carefully before you cut through the middle. Cut vertically from stem to the bottom. Sometimes they will simply break in half here as you start to cut.
Place on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet cut-side down and place in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. You can check the doneness by pushing on the outside with your finger or using a fork to see if it is done.
Remove them from the oven and let cool. When it is cool enough to handle, use an ice cream scoop or a spoon to remove the seeds and the stringy membranes. Scoop out the flesh and puree it in a food processor. Freeze in sealable or vacuum bags.
If you stay tuned for my January SRC post, you will see that I went a bit overboard with my pumpkin usage. From one pumpkin, I made this soup and all the treats for the next SRC. (Intrigued yet?)
I found this recipe in my beloved green Gourmet cookbook.
Pumpkin-Tomato Soup with Beans and Chickpeas
Based on Chunky Butternut Squash, White Bean, and Tomato Soup
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
3 c. pumpkin puree
1 3/4 c. chicken broth
2 c. water
1 (19-oz) can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (19-oz) can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 can whole tomatoes, pureed in blender (I used 1 pint of home canned tomatoes.)
1 t. finely chopped fresh sage
½ c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus additional for serving
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook garlic in oil in a large, heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 1 minute. Add pumpkin puree, broth, water, beans, chickpeas, tomato puree, and sage.
Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer. Simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve soup sprinkled with additional cheese.
This is simply a great basic broth for soup: pumpkin and tomato purees, chicken stock, water, and sage. Add a little cream for a fantastic cream soup. Add some pasta and some other veggies for a type of minestrone. I actually added some kale to the leftover soup from this batch and it was delicious! The possibilities for this base are endless.