Monday, November 8, 2010

Savory Pumpkin Stew

So many pumpkins are thought to be "only for decoration." But did you know you can actually eat all those gorgeous varieties?
Two medium sized white pumpkins survived the Halloween carving carnage this year and were roasted up to make stew, cupcakes and pie filling. We certainly have more pumpkin than we could use all in one day, so some of it went into the freezer for future usage.
This savory pumpkin stew challenges the idea that pumpkins are only for sweet recipes.
To roast your pumpkins, simply gut them, slice in half and roast open side down at 375 until soft enough to puncture the skin with a fork. Use an ice cream scoop to get the "meat" out and discard the skin.
You will also need raw pumpkin chunks for the soup. Simply chop and cube a raw pumkin, discarding the skin.
Savory Pumpkin Stew
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 cup pureed pumpkin (you can use canned, as long as there are no added ingredients in it)
1 cup cubed raw pumpkin
1/2 cup mashed potatoes (optional-it makes the soup creamier in texture but is not necessary)
1 large carrot, sliced into disks
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup of chopped anise stalks (you can use an alternate herb, if desired)
Seasoning Blend, such as Trader Joe's "21 Seasoning Salute" or Mrs. Dash.
Salt and pepper, to taste.
Saute the onion, celery and bell pepper until soft. Add the broth, water and whisk in the mashed potatoes and the pumpkin puree. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin chunks are soft.

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