A Profusion of Pumpkin
What to do with all those extra pumpkins after Halloween
George Morrone serves pumpkin and parsnip soups together in the same bowl.
You buy one, your roommate buys one, then your mom brings one over ... next thing you know you've got three pumpkins on the stoop and not one of them's been carved. You can't just let them rot. Cook with them! Here are a handful of recipes culled from new cookbooks that won't make you think of pumpkin pie and won't ruin Thanksgiving a month early.
Cream of Pumpkin Soup
Adapted from Simply Elegant Soup by George Morrone (Ten Speed Press, hardcover, $27.95), former chef of San Francisco's Aqua and the Fifth Floor. His new restaurant is Tartare. In the book, Morrone serves this soup alongside a cream of parsnip soup.
1 sugar pumpkin (about 5 pounds)
1 tablespoon grapeseed, safflower or canola oil
Kosher salt and cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large white onion, diced
2 small cloves garlic, minced
5 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more as needed
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil or hazelnut oil
Pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin
1) Preheat the oven to 325° F.
2) cut the pumpkin in half vertically and scoop out the seeds and fibers; clean and reserve the seeds.
3) Place the pumpkin in a roasting pan, drizzle the flesh with the grapeseed oil and season with salt and cayenne pepper. Turn the pumpkin flesh-side down and roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until tender.
4) Prepare the reserved pumpkin seeds by tossing them in a bowl with the olive oil. Season with salt and cayenne pepper and evenly spread out the seeds on a cookie sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until crispy and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
5) To prepare the soup, melt the butter in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sweat for 8 to 10 minutes, until soft and translucent; do not let the mixture brown.
6) Scoop out the flesh from the roasted pumpkin and add to the saucepan. Add 4 cups of the stock and the cayenne pepper, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Add the cream and return to a boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor in batches, and purée until smooth.
7) Pass the mixture through a medium-fine strainer into a clean saucepan. Adjust the consistency of the soup with the remaining 1 cup stock, as needed. Adjust the seasoning with salt and cayenne pepper.
8) Serve warm, garnished with pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds.