Back in November we filled two 6×2 trunks with all our winter squash with some spilling over into wicker bushels set on our storage tables. We’ve actually made great progress in going through these squashes. We emptied our trunks last week actually with only the on bushel left on the table. I’d had to throw a few to the chickens since they had started to rot but made the rest into winter squash chili, which has lasted us almost a week. I knew we had a bushel of delicatas left and some pumpkins on the storage table, but when I uncovered our winter crops to go through them for any soft or moldy ones I found an entire box of long pie pumpkins. I’d been cooking with winter squash I’d forgotten about all our pumpkins, but here they were waiting patiently for me to turn them in to something delicious.
Pumpkin pie was the reason we ended up with so many of them. Josh’s favorite dessert is pumpkin pie, and in anticipation for the sweet treat he planted, oh….4 plants of pumpkins last summer. They were planted on one of the old goat poop compost piles and left to run wild over the summer. When it came to harvesting time it was clear that they liked their surroundings. We must have harvested 20-30 pumpkins off of those plants. During the holiday season Josh was baking pies like a madman, and they were delicious. We must have eaten ten pies by the time January came around. Pie season seemed to have come to an end, until…..my mother found them. Now pumpkin pie is around once more, she has baked six pumpkin pies in the last week, and I am not complaining. However, I wanted to do something more with them, since we still have seven good long pies left, I thought I would experiment with a savory pumpkin soup.
Josh is not a fan of a family recipe for ginger acorn soup, which is similar to a traditional pumpkin soup with ginger and nutmeg, so I had to figure out someway we could have pumpkin for both dinner and dessert and both enjoy it. Here is what I came up it, a Savory Pumpkin Soup.
Now if you read my last post about the stove you will know I am unfamiliar with nuances of the antique oven. I was still a bit wary of it the day I made this soup and so I decided to roast my pumpkin in our woodstove. The biggest hurdle was figuring out how to not get ash in the pumpkin while it was roasting. My original plan was to use our big cast iron skillets to roast it in, but I soon realized that they are slightly different sizes thus creating a gap in which ash and other goodies could easily infiltrate. The only cast iron pans we had that would make for a tight fit were size five skillets, not very big. I however have faith in space expanding when you need it too, like the magical cars or tents in the popular wizard series. I sliced our pumpkin open, scooped out the seeds for the chickens and proceeded to fit the pumpkin into the pans. The magic worked and I was able to fit our whole pumpkin inside it and about two inches of water. Now the question was how to keep it closed while it was in the stove. This was easily answered with a clamp from a utility light and a large rock placed on top. I placed the ensemble in the stove and let it sit in the hot coals left from the wood I’d let burn down. When the house started to get cold from a lack of fire, about an hour, I removed the rock, and pulled the pans out. I opened them up and found perfectly roasted sweet smelling pumpkin hiding inside. I let them cool on the stove while I prepared the other vegetables. Our onions are all sprouting, and although it is lovely to see a bit of green this time of year, most of them will all end up in our compost heap. We had a bag of roots from the the farmer’s market so I added them to the soup to add texture to what I knew would become roasted pumpkin puree. The end result was scrumptious. We like our soup so you can eat it with a fork, super hearty, and thick. This is a great soup to eat with a fork, combined with a hunk of good farmstead cheese and some homemade bread and you’ll be set and happy for the rest of the evening.
More photos about this on our flicker account.