As the weather cools off and I see the splotches of orange in the bazaar it fills me with joy! Pumpkin is a fruit (yeah I didn’t know that either) that has this unique style of catering to both the sweet and savory palates. I do enjoy trying out many different things, but how much can you eat at once? For that very reason, you can freeze your pumpkin – just don’t expect it to keep its shape much. Its flavor will lessen the more time passes, so keeping pumpkin in the freezer the whole year isn’t the best option. A couple of months, but no more.
I like to make this when I have used quite a bit and there are just many small pieces left over. Of course, you can do this with whole chunks as well. Either way, this soup will both warm you up and fill you up as the temperatures drop.
To cook this all as quick and easy as possible, peel your pumpkin and cut it into smallish cubes. Don’t worry if they turn out a bit bigger than you think, it will just take a few more minutes to cook through. Chop the onions small as well. Melt the butter and saute the onions a bit until they turn a slightly different color. Toss in the pumpkin and roast them all together for a bit. Toss the flour in as well and continue sauteing them. Keep stirring to keep it from burning. After a couple of minutes add the heavy cream and broth (if not available water does the trick as well) and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down and let the whole deal simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Once all the pumpkin has softened – you can test this with a fork – turn the heat off and go in with a blender to make it all smooth. Now you can season this to your liking.
To make the soup more interesting when serving you can add some herbs or even pumpkin seeds on top. My personal favorite is always going to be a bit of dill, but try to find your favorite version as well!
If after blending you think the soup is still too chunky you can press it through a sieve and blend whatever is left in it again until it gets silky. Personally speaking, I think that is more effort than it is worth.
Now I did say you can freeze your pumpkin, but another way of preserving this great flavor is to make a jam out of it. The addition of ginger will give it a bit of a balance while still keeping it exciting in your mouth. The ratios given here are more of a guideline, so always feel free to combine to your heart's content!
Clean the pumpkin and cut it into small cubes. Wash the oranges and lemons and carefully grate off the zest. Make sure you do not add the white parts as that will make it all bitter. Grate the ginger completely and remove the meaty parts of the orange, being careful not to add the white parts of the fruit. Squeeze out the juices of the remainder of the orange and the lemons and toss it all into a pot with the orange juice. Let it all cook together until it all has softened. Go in with a blender to make it smooth. Now add the pectin or the sugar (or both if you like the sweetness) and boil it for several minutes. The mixture should thicken up at this point. If you feel like it is still too liquidy, cook it for a couple more minutes. Put the jam into clean jars and close the lids while it is still hot. This will seal them and make it stay fresh longer.
You can always opt to cook the pumpkin in water instead of orange juice. If the orange juice is already sweetened you might not want to add any more sugar to the mix.
Pectin is to make the mixture hold together better but is entirely optional. Adding more sugar or even a bit of diluted starch in the mix will make it solid enough.
You've heard of banana bread, but have you heard of pumpkin bread? Well, you have now. While banana bread is a dessert, this one here is not really a dessert but more of an actual bread. The orange color and the nutty flavor that the pumpkin gives to the bread will most definitely catch the attention of whomever you present it to.
Clean and cut the pumpkin into small pieces and cook it in water until it has softened. This should take about 10 minutes depending on the size. Pour off the water and mash the pieces. Let it cool off. Have the milk slightly warm and dissolve the yeast in it with a pinch of sugar and a bit of salt. Add all the ingredients into a bowl, except the egg, and start kneading. You’ll want to achieve a soft but not sticky dough. Depending on your pumpkin, you might need to add a bit more flour if it is too sticky. A bit more milk can be added if the dough is too hard or seems too crumbly. Cover the kneaded dough with a damp cloth and let it rest in a warm place for about an hour. Knead it through one last time and place it into a form of your liking. Lining the form with baking paper is essential. Let the bread rest in this manner again covered with a damp cloth for about 40 to 45 minutes. Whisk the egg and spread it over the bread and bake it at 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 40 minutes to an hour depending on how thick you have arranged it. Remove from the oven and let it cool off completely before cutting it.
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