My gang of goblins and I were on the hunt for our perfect Jack O’ Lantern pumpkins this weekend. We skipped the grocery store bins and followed the hand painted signs along the main road that read “Pumpkin Farm ->“. Tucked into the land behind a Canadian Tire and surrounded by new residential developments under construction, we discovered the coolest independent pumpkin farm in all of the land. Owned and operated by an elderly German couple, the girls ran through the acre-wide pumpkin patch, while the adults (us) shared some of our favourite seasonal recipes. An hour later, we drove off with a trunk full of perfect gourds and a palpable excitement to preheat my oven and start an afternoon of pumpkin exploration.
Great things can come from repetition and routine, that’s what I love about soup season. So many delicious seasonal ingredients to roast and blend to create comforting bowls of bliss. As the air gets colder, I become a better soup maker.
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 pie pumpkin
- 2 yellow onions
- 1 large baking apple (I used cortland), cored, peeled and diced
- 1 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 cup low-sodium chicken or veggie stock
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper for a little extra kick (optional)
- Prepping your pie pumpkin, here’s how I do it: Preheat oven to 425° f. Wash the outer skin of your pumpkin and towel dry. With a good grip and a sharp knife, cut your pumpkin into half, scoop out the inside goop and seeds and place it all in a small colander to rinse later. Place your pumpkin halves skin side down on a large, well-greased baking sheet. Drizzle with a healthy dose of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Roast on the centre rack for about 45 minutes. Remove from oven once you can puncture the flesh easily with a fork. Let cool completely before handling.
- Cut away the skin of the roasted pumpkin and cut cubes about 1 to 2″ thick.
- In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add pumpkin, garlic and onion; sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring periodically. Reduce heat to medium and add the diced apple, salt, pepper and curry powder; stir, saute for another 5 minutes.
- Add stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let it simmer gently until the pumpkin squash is tender, about 30 minutes. Your house will perfectly embody the smell of fall.
- Using an immersion blender, or in a food processor or blender in batches, pureé soup until smooth. (If you use the blender, make sure you vent the top so that the hot liquid doesn’t explode all over you and your kitchen.)
- Return to the pot, if necessary. Stir in cayenne to taste; reheat over medium heat, stirring often, until steaming. Do not let boil. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper, if necessary.
Now let’s get to the heart of the matter… the seeds.
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
- 2 teaspoons melted butter (olive oil or vegetable oil work well) or 2 teaspoons melted oil ( olive oil or vegetable oil work well)
- garlic powder (optional)
- cayenne pepper (optional)
- seasoning salt (optional)
- cajun seasoning (optional)
- Preheat oven to 275° F.
- While it’s OK to leave some strings and pulp on your seeds (it adds flavor) clean off any major chunks.
- Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the melted butter or oil and seasonings of your choice.
- Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on baking sheet.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
Now that you have something to munch on, what would pumpkin season be without Linus and his hunt for the greatest one of all? I have spent the past 20-some years watching ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown‘ the night before Halloween and it never seems to get old. Along with Rocky Horror Picture show, a witches pointed hat and mini Snicker bars, some Halloween treats are just too classic to ever expire. Enjoy! xoAdd to favorites