Pumpkin

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a locavore… You know, one of those people who eat nothing but what they can buy from local farmers or grow themselves. I think they are amazing. But I always wonder how on earth they keep their meals interesting this time of the year. That would certainly take some major creativity. I’m temped to try it…but only for a minute. Now, if I lived by myself, it would be a different story…and I think I’d start in the spring. :P
Anyhow, that really wasn’t just a random thought. It is directly related to our featured item, pumpkins, because pumpkins are still in season! I love pumpkins. They exude warmth and cheeriness and happy thoughts. However, most people don’t explore the pumpkin beyond it’s cheery orange skin – unless they do it with a can opener,  which just doesn’t count.
It’s easy to prepare a fresh pumpkin for use in pies, cakes, bread or soups. Just cut the top off and scrape out the seeds and strands. At this point, you can use it for a beautiful center piece for your table and a soup tureen to serve your pumpkin soup in.
I cut mine in half and rubbed the inside with salt, pepper and olive oil, since this pumpkin is going to be soup before it’s day is over.
Roast in an oven heated to 375 for 60-90 minutes or until you can pierce it easily with a fork.
Don’t just throw out the seeds. Wash them off in a colander, season with salt, pepper, chili powder and olive oil and roast along with the pumpkin until golden. Pumpkins seeds are packed with Potassium, Phosphorus and Magnesium, just to mention the most predominate minerals of the ten found therein.
Now, I have a confession to make. As much as I love the looks of pumpkin, I’m not a fan of the taste unless it’s had some major doctoring up. I’ve tried making several different soups with different winter squashes and they were all disappointments. For some reason though,  I just can’t give up on the idea! I know, weird. But a vegetable this packed with vitamins A, K and C, folate, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium can’t go to waste as mere porch decor! Right? Of course, right!
Besides,  if I were a locavore, I would be living on pumpkin right now. I WILL learn to love the taste as well!
I chose to go Southwestern with this soup. It’s so easy you don’t need a recipe. Saute onions and garlic in butter, add some flour and make a gravy consistence with chicken broth. Add a couple cans of diced tomatoes with chilies, some cream cheese, and the pureed pumpkin. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle in some cumin. Add more chicken broth as needed and heat to serve.
It’s a perfect soup for a cold winter night. Serve with Taco Salad fixings, nachos, or burritos.
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