easy homemade pumpkin soup & seeds

6:55 AM

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Throughout the entire month of October, Eamon had been "collecting" pumpkins and lining them up in sweet little spots throughout the house, occasionally trying to roll the largest one through the rest in an effort to reenact Linus and Lucy picking their carving pumpkin at the beginning of "The Great Pumpkin" Charlie Brown special. There were large ones, small ones, white ones, orange one, and...by this weekend, rotting ones. I had four decently sized baking pumpkins sitting on my living room floor just ready to attract critters of all sorts. So, much to his chagrin, mommy needed to do something with some of his pumpkins.


The weather has been wacky and this left me feeling very under the weather. That can only mean one thing: SOUP TIME! Ahh, the fall and all its loveliness. Its rich aromas and wonderful colors....and colds. I had lots of pumpkins to "dispose of" and, of course, a nice stock of chicken broth which I either buy by the almost-case-load or make by the gallon. I wanted to use a recipe that did not involve having to roast my ingredients and had very little effort involved, simply because I wasn't feeling well. I found a quick and east classic pumpkin soup recipe on www.recipetineats.com that did just the trick.



PUMPKIN SOUP - CLASSIC AND EASY
PREP TIME: 5 mins COOK TIME: 10 mins TOTAL TIME: 15 mins 

INGREDIENTS: 
    1. 2lb/1 kg pumpkin (any), chopped into large chunks (remove skin and seeds) 
    2. 2 medium onions, sliced 
    3. 2 cloves of garlic 
    4. 3 cups / 750ml chicken or vegetable stock 
    5. 1 cup / 250ml milk (see notes for vegan subs) 
    6. Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine all ingredients (except salt and pepper) in a saucepan and bring to boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until pumpkin is tender. Remove from heat and use a stick blender to blend until smooth. If you don't have a stick blender, use a blender - see notes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve with crusty bread. Variations: For a richer finish, substitute the milk with cream, but add after blending and do not bring to boil. Garnishes: Dollop of yogurt, sour cream or creme fraiche goes wonderfully.
SUBSTITUTIONS

To make the soup vegan or lactose friendly, substitute milk with almond or soy milk (although I bet this would taste wonderful with coconut milk - give it a bit of a Thai taste). 

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I used my Nutri Ninja blender I bought at Target to blend the soup. Using a regular blender is no advised as it will cause the top to literally blow off due to the high heat. Allowing your soup to cool first will help prevent this.

Four pumpkins later I had roughly five quarts of soup, which was my dinner that evening and we had with the next along with some grilled chops and spinach and Gorgonzola salad (the cheese works wonderfully on the palate with the soup). Some got jarred up in the fridge for lunches this week and there was still some left to share with a few of our neighbors (we tend to feed quite a few people on the block).
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As for all of the leftover seeds...well they got baked, of course! About two pint jars full of seeds came from the pumpkins (which were medium sized baking pumpkins). While the soups were cooking, I set my toaster oven to 350 (some people set it to 400), cleaned and dried my seeds, and set them on the baking pan drizzled with coconut oil and a pinch of sea salt. I let them roast slowly in batches until they were just right. This was the first time I used coconut oil and it was fantastic. I also like to make some with a bit of chili powder and set them aside for when I want something a little spicy.


If you'd like more ideas and recipes to try visit my Pinterest page.

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