Everywhere I go, there are pumpkins. At the grocery store, in store fronts, on TV and certainly all over the Vegan MoFo blog roll! I am not just following suit. I love pumpkins, they are an under used food in my opinion. I love to make/eat pumpkin pie, soup, stews, squares, cookies. So what I am trying to get across is that this is probably the first of many pumpkin posts.
Since it is Thanksgiving this weekend, I thought I would devote this week to things you could put on the Thanksgiving table. I likely will not be taking part in the holiday with a big meal and it is really difficult to make a full Thanksgiving dinner for one without having to eat it for weeks. So, I am making one piece at a time and eating them as full meals. I don't see anything wrong with this plan!
So, back to pumpkins. First, how healthy is a pumpkin? Well looking just at the vegetable, it is very healthy. Low in calories and fat free, pumpkin is a great way to get something a little sweet in a dish with out adding sugar. It's high in vitamin A and a source of vitamins C, E and K. Pumpkins are also very high in potassium which is known to reduce heart disease and an excellent source of beta carotene. The only bad thing about pumpkins is that they are rarely served on their own. You most commonly see them in pies and squares. Well that is not the only way to use pumpkins.
Normally when I cook with pumpkin, it is from a can. This year, I thought it was time to try to make a few things using as much of the pumpkin as possible. Tonight I made whole pumpkin soup. This recipe is a veganized Alton Brown Recipe (Click here for the original). I thought it was a such a cool way to serve the soup it had to be blogged about.
Whole Pumpkin Soup
Adapted from Alton Brown
Serves 2-4, Takes about 2 - 2 1/2 hours
- One whole baking pumpkin (about 4-5 lbs)
- 1/2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter
- 1/2 onion diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 green apple, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 vegan creamer
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp vegan cream cheese (I use toffutti)
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
|Before, remember to cut the top at and angle to prevent the lid from falling in.|
Pre heat the over to 375 F and begin prepping your pumpkin. Cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin that you can fit your hand inside. Cut at an angle so the top won't fall through. Next scoop out the seeds. I find using your hands is easiest, but that is up to you. Save the seeds and you can roast them for later (tomorrow I will have some good recipes for roasting).
|Like most soups, just dump the ingredient in together and let them cook.|
Now, oil a casserole and then brush remaining oil on the pumpkin. Dump all the ingredients except for the cheese and thyme and stir. Put the top on the pumpkin and put it in the over for 90 minutes. Once the 90 minutes are up remove the pumpkin and add the thyme and cheese. Stir again and put it back in the over (no top this time) for another 30 minutes.
|Last, blend the crap out of it to blend all the flavours|
Once it's done, remove the pumpkin and once cool enough to handle, carefully scrape the sides of the pumpkin to get some of the flesh in the soup. Lastly, take an immersion blender and gently blend the soup (be careful not to touch the sides or the bottom of the pumpkin). Serve and watch everyone's amazement at how much you rock. Or serve into bowls or pass around some straws.
Update - Be very careful taking the soup out of the pumpkin! The bottom of mine fell through when I was trying to get the left overs into a tupperware. Either leave it in the casserole or maybe try using a spatula to remove it! :)