So, I was chatting with a very lovely friend – about food (one of my favorite subjects) – and we were eating pumpkin soup. She asked if I’d ever tried making pumpkin soup IN the pumpkin and I was terribly intrigued. I searched the Internet and found some recipe ideas and then came up with my own. I’d always wanted to try making pumpkin soup, and what more fun than to cook it in the pumpkin shell?
One recipe said to use onions, but that seemed like too harsh a flavor for the creaminess of a pumpkin.
Another said to use cream, but that’s too rich for me and I know half and half works better.
So, I started with some lovely shallots (gentler than onions) and some lovely toasty whole grain bread.
I sauteed the shallots in olive oil and added the bread when they were soft. I added a little white wine too and then some thyme and fresh rosemary from my herb pot out back.
I let that rest and cleaned out the little pie pumpkins. I took the top off and scooped out the seeds and strings. Messy work.
I set the seeds aside to toast later and scooped until I got the pumpkin clean but leaving the flesh. I scored the inside with a fork and sprinkled salt and pepper inside.
I wrapped each pumpkin in a bit of tin foil and put them in a baking dish. I took the rind off an aged gouda and added a few pieces of the sharp cheese to the bottom of the pumpkin shell.
To each pumpkin, I added the shallots and bread, and sprinkled in a tiny bit of nutmeg and paprika. Then, I added chicken broth leaving about an inch of room to steam in their little pumpkin shells. Put the lids back on and fold the tin foil around the pumpkin.
I baked them slowly at 300 degrees for about an hour and a half. The smell was amazing! Then, we took the tops off and stirred up the soup, adding just a tablespoon or so of half-and-half.
Simply delicious and a fun, dramatic way to have dinner!