When we Gormans were kids, Mom used to grow pumpkins, rhubarb, and other things we thought were fairly disgusting – until the rhubarb pie or the salted pumpkin seeds were ready. She also made a pumpkin soup in the pumpkin’s hollowed-out shell, which I’d never eat as a kid but love today. Fall is just around the corner, so here goes:
Take a good-sized pumpkin with a flat bottom and evenly round or fairly straight sides. Figure 4-6 pounds. Cut the top off one inch below the stem. Clean the seeds out of the pumpkin and set them aside (or wash and salt them) and put into the oven at about 300 degrees until baked dry and edible.
On the stove, chop and sauté four cloves of garlic with one sweet red onion in a bit of olive oil. When the onion and garlic are nearly done, add three diced Roma tomatoes, sea salt, and black pepper to taste.
In the empty pumpkin, put one pint of heavy cream, two quarts of organic vegetable broth, and the garlic/onion/tomato mix. If the pumpkin shell is not near full, add more broth.
Stir all ingredients in the pumpkin.
When the pumpkin seeds are done, raise oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and place it in the oven. Bake for about 90 minutes or until the pumpkin flesh is soft. Add minced parsley or thyme or basil — whichever you like — to the pumpkin mix and turn oven off. Let stand inside the oven for 10 minutes.
Remove pumpkin from oven and let stand for 20 minutes.
Gently scrape the flesh of the pumpkin into the mix, pouring it off as necessary and blending it.
When pumpkin cools, pour liquid into a pot, then scrape pumpkin flesh loose and add to pot. For chunky pumpkin soup, bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. For smooth cream of pumpkin soup, allow to cool in the pot, then blend a portion at a time until soup achieves desired consistency. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Serve soup with a spoonful of sour cream. Bon appétit!
Editor’s note: Your regular Chow, Baby columnist is on leave but will return soon.