Jack ‘O Lantern Soup

October 25, 2012

Around our neck of the woods we’re seeing pumpkins everywhere – some carved, most set out as bright pops of color on a door stoop.  At farmer’s markets and produce departments sweet little Sugar Pumpkins are at the ready – and with Halloween around the corner, doesn’t this bubbly cauldron of soup look yummy?  The recipe here is an adaptation of Julia Child’s Pumpkin Soup in a Pumpkin recipe

1 half whole grain baguette, cubed
1 medium 8 lb or so, Sugar Pumpkin; washed
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
2 cups vegetable broth
8-oz’s crème fraîche
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese
1 bay leaf

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

-Toast bread cubes on a baking sheet 7 minutes.

-Cut out the pumpkin stem and set aside, and remove seeds (save for the recipe below) and loose matter till the inside is somewhat smooth.

-Sprinkle inside with salt and set on a roasting pan – layer the bottom of the pumpkin with the toasted bread.

-Combine broth and crème fraîche in a medium bowl, and add the remaining salt, nutmeg and pepper – stir until well combined.

-Pour about a third of the broth into the pumpkin covering the bread, followed by a third of the cheese. Continue layering until there is no more broth and top with bay leaf. Replace the pumpkin top and place in the oven.

-Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes.

Test the pumpkin to make sure it feels baked but still holds it’s shape – remember if it is over cooked it will crack so be careful.   We like to serve this on a pasta dish or something that will hold the soup if it breaks down.  Serves 8.

You can also do this recipe using smaller pumpkins and serve them individually – simply prepare the little pumpkins as above, and divide the broth, bread, and cheese equally among them.

You can garnish with cheese, a few bread cubes and Sugared Pumpkin Seeds:

Sugared Pumpkin Seeds

1 cup natural, raw, shelled pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Spray baking sheet with cooking spray, heat seeds in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 6 minutes or until the seeds begin to bubble.  Add sugar, and stir about 1 minute or until sugar begins to caramelize; add salt. Spread seeds on baking sheet, and allow to cool. for at least 30 minutes.

Inspiration for this recipe from the Dinner With Julia blog

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