Pumpkin Soups, from Simple to Dramatic

What Else Are These Giant Squashes Good For?

The French Pumpkins are perfect in any squash or pumpkin recipe. They make exxcellent soups and pies. They have a unique, fruity fragrance when cut open, and the rich orange flesh is delicious.

How to Choose: Generally, look for a rich-colored skin for the variety—the skin may be any combination of tan, grey, orange, or black. Also, most dark-colored squashes will have an deep orange blotch when ripe. This blotch is the spot where the squash rested on the ground as it ripened. Look for a shriveled, dry corky stem, not a thick, green stem full of water.If you plan on keeping the squash longer than 3 or 4 weeks, check it carefully for dings and scratches, as these damaged areas will mold quickly, and the rest of the squash will follow.

How to Keep: All pumpkins are built for storage and can last for several months if kept in a cool, dark, dry location. A cool closet can work, or enclosed garage or basement. The temperature needs to stay above 50°, without a lot of fluctuation or moisture will condense on the skin, leading to rot. Consider steaming or baking the Giant Squash and freezing the leftover portion for use later.

How to Eat: Cut into chunks and steam or bake. Try putting the chunks in a baking pan skin-side down with an inch of water in the pan, and bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes. Once cooked, try them mashed with potatoes or other root vegetables. They are also quite good when cut into chunks and added to soup, just treat them  like potatoes. And our favorite is using that leftover cup of mashed pumpkin in pancakes with a little cinnamon and cloves, and blueberries.

Delicious and Beautiful Varieties We Grow:

Rouge Vif d’Etampes: the classic red-orange French pumpkin
Galeux d’Eysines: Another French pumpkin that is pinkish-orange and covered in warts
Marina di Chioggia: An Italian heirloom pumpkin that is grey with warts
Winter Luxury Pie: An American heirloom pie pumpkin that has netted skin like a cantaloupe

Apple and Pumpkin Soup

serves 6 to 8

4 cups Chicken Stock
4 Apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2 cups Diced Pumpkin
1 Small Onion, diced
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Grated Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Ground Coriander
1/2 cup Apple Cider or Ginger Ale
1/2 cup Sour Cream
Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup Chopped Chives

1. In a large nonreactive pot, bring stock to a boil. Add apples, pumpkin, onion, cinnamon, nutmeg, and coriander. Simmer, partly covered, 30 minutes.

2. Purée mixture in a food processor or blender. Return to pot.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the cider or ginger ale and sour cream until smooth. Stir into soup mixture and reheat gently. Taste for salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Carbonada en Zapallo
(Argentinian Beef Stew in a Pumpkin)

1 10 lb. Cheese or Cinderella Pumpkin
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 lb. Beef Chuck, cut into 1" cubes

1 Small Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 clove Garlic, peeled and Minced
2 Plum Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/4 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 Bay Leaf
2 cups Beef Stock
Salt and Freshly-Ground Black Pepper
2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Russet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
cup Fresh or Frozen Corn Kernels
2 Fresh Peaches, peeled, pitted, and cubed,
or 4 canned peach halves, drained and cubed

1. Preheat oven to 275°. Cut a lid about 6″ in diameter out of top of pumpkin; set lid aside. Remove and discard seeds and strings. Replace lid and bake pumpkin on a heavy cookie sheet until just tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Brown beef on all sides then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Reduce heat to medium; add onions, peppers, and garlic and cook, scraping brown bits stuck to bottom of pot, until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add beef and any accumulated juices, tomatoes, oregano, bay leaf, and stock, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. Add both potatoes, cover, and cook for 20 minutes; then add corn and peaches and cook, covered, for 10 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasonings.

3. Spoon carbonada into pumpkin, replace lid, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and, using two spatulas or a flat cookie sheet, carefully transfer pumpkin to a serving platter. At the table, spoon carbonada with some of the pumpkin’s flesh into warm serving bowls.Saveur magazine, November 1999

La Soupe au Potiron
(French Pumpkin Soup in a Pumpkin)

serves 6

1 7-lb Rouge Vif d’Etampes (French, or Cinderella) pumpkin, with a 2″ stem
7 tbsp. Butter, softened
1 large Yellow Onion, peeled and finely-chopped
1-1/2 cups Fresh White Bread Crumbs, toasted
1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Ground Sage
Freshly-Ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Grated Swiss Cheese
4 cups Chicken Stock
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 cup Heavy Cream (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut a lid about 4″ in diameter out of top of pumpkin and set lid aside. Remove and discard seeds and strings. Rub inside of pumpkin and lid with 1 tbsp. softened butter, season with salt, and place on a baking pan.

2. Melt remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in bread crumbs and cook for 2 minutes. then add nutmeg and sage and season generously with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, stir in cheese, then spoon mixture into pumpkin. Pour enough stock into pumpkin to come within 1/2″ of the rim. Lay bay leaves on top, then fit lid onto pumpkin.

3. Bake until pumpkin begins to soften and brown on the outside and the stock bubbles on the inside, about 1-1/2 hours. Carefully remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter. With a long-handled spoon, scrape flesh from botton and sides of pumpkin and, just before serving, stir in heavy cream if using.

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