Spicy Pumpkin and Sweet Potatoe Soup

Its that time of year… pumpkin pickin’ time! Pumpkins populate “punkin’” patches and make spooky faces from door steps and window sills around Halloween, but Sugar Pie pumpkins are the sweet and mellow ones used for cooking—not scary, and 100% tasty. And unlike their jack-o’-lantern brethren, they are thin-skinned for easy peeling. The sugar pumpkin is a small 3 to 8 pound range squash that has a wide range of cooking applications, but in this recipie… that firey jack-o-latern will meet his spicy match.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 medium sugar pumpkin
  • 4 orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

In a mortar or spice grinder, grind coriander, cumin, oregano, fennel, red pepper, salt and peppercorns into a coarse powder. Blend in garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil to form a paste.

Wash pumpkin, and cut into 2-inch wide wedges, scraping away seeds. Peel potatoes and cut each potato lengthwise into 6 wedges. Smear the pumpkin and the potatoes with the spice paste and place in a baking dish.

Roast in preheated oven 30 to 40 minutes, until tender and just beginning to blacken at the thinnest points.

Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, cook the onion in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil until translucent.

Chop pumpkin and potatoes into smaller chunks and add this with the chicken broth into the pot. Using an immersion blender puree the soup until smooth. Be sure to scrape the roasted spice paste off the baking dish and include it in the puree. It may be necessary to deglaze the dish with a little chicken broth.

Heat this thoroughly and then serve with toasted french bread slices. Make this vegan friendly by using a flavorful vegetable stock.

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Abigail Adam’s Pumpkin Pie

I was going through a book of colonial recipes for the New York / New England region looking for something old / new for me to bring to the table. Well, I came across several dishes that look interesting to me. One of these, Abigail Adam’s pumpkin pie recipe, looks quite good to try. I’m sure its an adaptation, because it calls for a pre-made pie crust, but I think I’m going to like this one because of the quarter cup of dark rum, and I’ll use the Captain Morgans.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Filling:

  • 1 ½ cups of pumpkin
  • ¼ cup of dark brown sugar firmly packed
  • ½ tsp of fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • ¼ cup of whole milk
  • ¼ cup of Captain Morgan dark rum
  • 3 medium eggs lightly beaten

Pie:

  • 1 ten inch pie crust
  • Pecans and whipped cream for topping

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix the filling ingredients in a large bowl, and then pour it into the pie shell. Give this a minute or two to settle. Then, pop this in the oven and bake at 425 for ten minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for about forty minutes. The pie is done when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. When done, take it out of the oven, let cool for a moment, and serve it with some real eggnog.

Abigail's pumpkin pie

Abigail’s pumpkin pie

This recipe is adapted from “the Thirteen Colonies Cookbook” – Donovan, Hatrak, Mills, Shull

Smoky Pumpkin Soup

It’s just starting to be pumpkin season here and the huge orange gourds are sprouting at all the local markets. So, let’s grab one and make a little heart warming pumpkin soup. This is a wonderful addition to anyone’s repertoire of soups. This recipe is one of the simple ones. Pumpkin soups are a blank canvas on which you can paint with a wide variety of spices, but this one will have just three. The warming part of this soup comes from a liberal dose of smoky paprika.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • About two cups of diced pumpkin
  • 4 cup of water
  • ½ onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream, or half and half

Start by melting the butter in your soup pot and sauté the onions. Deglaze the pot with the water to bring up those tasty bits. Then, pour in the rest of the water and add the pumpkin and spices. Let this boil until the pumpkin softens up. Then, using our indispensible magic wand (immersion blender) blend the mixture very smooth. Then turn to a simmer and add the cream. Let this all blend together and serve it hot.

Smoky Pumpkin Soup

Smoky Pumpkin Soup