Until now I’ve never even thought of cooking a pumpkin. Carving and lighting with a candle to display outside the front door was about all I could handle. But along came not one but two pumpkins in this week’s organic produce box, and I tossed the question to my foodie friends: What can you do with these orange orbs?
Susan Ranger suggested soup. As I surveyed the rest of the ingredients in this week’s box, a vision appeared—in the form of my sister, wonderful, experienced cook Julia Richardson. She suggested this Pumpkin Leek Soup.
Pumpkin Leek Soup
- 2 small pumpkin squash, halved, seeded, roasted at 420F for 45 minutes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, flesh scooped or cut out
- 3 carrots, cut into spears, roasted at 420F for 30 minutes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper
- 3 slender leeks, trimmed, cut lengthwise, well washed, sliced in 1/2-inch pieces, including greens
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 T olive oil
- 8 c water and seasoning, or soup stock (enough to cover vegetables)
- 1/2 T fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium, then add onions, leeks and garlic. Cover and turn heat down to low. Cook, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes until softened. Add pumpkin flesh and remaining ingredients, then cook for 15 minutes on medium-low, stirring occasionally. Cool, blend to a creamy purée and serve with Crispy Beet Chips. Serves 10.
Red Hot Beet Chips
- 3 large beets, peeled, thinly sliced on a mandolin or by hand
- 1 T olive oil
- 3/4 T Frank’s RedHot Sauce
- 2 t chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 t kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large baking pan, combine all ingredients and lay the beets out in a single layer. Bake for 40 minutes, turning and removing slices as they are done. Note: These chips are not really crispy, but they are delicious. For crispy beet chips, you’ll need a dehydrator.
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