For a few weeks now we’ve had 3 pumpkins sitting outside our house. And for a few weeks I’ve been promising my boys we’d make soup out of my daughter’s pumpkin (because she’s too young to decorate hers). So, this past week my CSA pick-up included a butternut squash…..perfect opportunity to make pumpkin soup.
We had a completely free Sunday so I told the boys we’d make the soup as soon as the baby took a nap. My 4 year-old was very excited so he sat in his stool at our island while I chopped onions and prepped ingredients for the soup. My 3 year-old was less interested and just wanted to draw on the pumpkin. So, I pulled out some washable markers so he could be entertained while I tried to get all this cooking done before nap time was over.
When I was ready to cut the pumpkin open both boys were pretty thrilled. I had never cut a pumpkin open for them before so this was all new to them. Oh, and they wanted toasted pumpkin seeds because we read about them in one of their Halloween books practically every night, so I pulled the seeds out and put them into a colander for later. My 3 year-old was a little distraught seeing his beautiful artwork being destroyed and discarded into the trash….but they were both very helpful with scooping the seeds out of the butternut squash.
While the soup simmered I washed the seeds and prepared them for toasting. At this point the boys had long since disappeared into the den and were playing on their own, so I was able to puree the soup and and finish it while they were busy. I called them in to see the seeds toasting in the oven and gave them each a taste of the soup. My older son wanted to try it in a Halloween cup, but my little one had absolutely no interest. Once the seeds were toasted I threw a few into the soup as a garnish and the rest were enjoyed as a snack in front of the TV as we watched Halloween shows.
Winter Squash Soup – I slightly altered Ina Garten’s recipe from Food Network’s website.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon good olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
1 small pumpkin, peeled and cut in chunks
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut in chunks
3 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup half – and – half
Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)
Heat the butter and oil in a heavy – bottomed stockpot, add the onions, and cook over medium – low heat for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the pumpkin, butternut squash, chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer over medium – low heat for about 20 minutes, until the pumpkin and butternut squash is very tender. Process the mixture through the medium blade of a food mill or hand held mixer. Return to the pot, add the half – and – half, and heat slowly. If the soup needs more flavor, add another teaspoon of salt. Serve hot with garnishes, if desired.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Seeds of 1 pumpkin (rinsed)
2 tablespoon good olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
Preheat oven 350. In a bowl mix seeds, olive oil, and salt. Spread on baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes or until seeds are lightly toasted. Eat whole once cooled or use as garnish for soup.