This is Day 2 of my 7 Days of Thanksgiving Posts, and I’ve chosen a not-so-fussy roasted pumpkin soup. Its simplicity, literal wholeness, and amazing savory flavors make my autumnal toes twinkle. The first time I made this was for a Halloween dinner, when my friend Nathan said, “I don’t want this to end.” He also apologized for eating it so quickly.
You bake and serve this vegetal soup in its own shell – pretty awesome on so many levels I don’t understand why no one told me about this until this year. This ‘recipe’ is adapted from Bon Appetite, but I’m here to tell you about how I dealt with some issues I had with the recipe. They are few.
First, choose a squash with a fairly hollow core as this will allow you to put more broth in it. Obviously this exclude the turban and butternut squashes. You also want a squash that will sit flat. I’ve chosen the typical pie squashes. They also produce a lot of seeds for roasting. I haven’t tried the ambercup variety, but you will need to cut the bottom so it can sit flat. This might make a mess of the broth in the baking process as the shell keeps the broth from oozing out onto the baking pan.
You’ll want to cut a hole that is at least 4-5 inches wide so that the squash’s flesh is easily accessible at the dinner table. When cleaning out the seeds, you will want to remove as much of the stringiness as possible. They tend to make scooping the flesh a harder task.
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
adapted from bon appetite
6 Small Pie Pumpkins*
~ 3 quarts of Basic Vegetable Broth (3/4 Recipe) – or a low/no-sodium broth
2 c bread crumbs
6 bay leaves
6 garlic gloves, minced
3 cups of grated gruyere cheese
2 ts. finely ground fennel seeds
1/4 ts. smoked paprika
+ Preheat oven to 350° F. Cut a wide hole from the top of each pumpkins to make a lid. Remove seeds and scrape out strings. Rub pumpkin flesh with butter and salt. Pumpkins are sweet and the salt enhances the savory flavor of the soup, but if your broth is particularly salty, don’t put too much salt on the pumpkins. The gruyere also adds a bit of saltiness.
+ Sprinkle fennel and paprika inside each pumpkin. Place a bay leaf inside each pumpkin and evenly distribute bread crumbs and cheese, saving some cheese for garnish. Top each pumpkin with broth, leaving at least 1 ” from the bottom of the flesh’s edge. Place the lids back onto the pumpkin and bake for about 1 hour.
+ Remove the pumpkins from the oven and place the lids with the flesh side up for roasting. The pumpkin should take no more than another hour. It is ready when the inside flesh is scoop-able with a spoon.
*The first time I made this, I did not have a squash with a particularly hollow core, so when I dumped the bread crumbs into the squash along with the cheese, it solidified into a cheese ball… So, if you choose to roast one giant pumpkin, you can serve it with the broth, just put in no more than 1/2 c of breadcrumbs and 1/4 c of cheese per cup of broth. When the pumpkin is done roasting, scoop out the flesh onto bowls and cover with hot broth. Salt to flavor.