What to Do with Leftover Pumpkin


Authored by Kennedy Allen in Food and Cooking 
Published on 08-27-2009

Pumpkin is a big vegetable. Unless the local supermarket in your town sells it pre-cut, extra pumpkin is a common result. No one usually has a use for the whole thing unless hosting a very big dinner party consisting of mainly pumpkin dishes. For some people this excess pumpkin can be a problem especially if you don’t like seeing food go to waste. Not to worry. Put that extra pumpkin away for tomorrow’s healthy lunch!

There are some very easy and simple recipes with pumpkin as their main ingredient. One of the best and not to mention yummiest is a pumpkin puree soup. Not only is a pumpkin soup extremely easy to make, it has unparalleled health benefits and is very filling too. The ingredient list is short. All you need is that leftover pumpkin, garlic cloves to taste, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Cut the pumpkin into small pieces. The smaller the pieces the faster hey will cook through. Put the pumpkin in a big soup pot and cover with water. Add the salt and pepper to your liking and bring to a boil. You may add a tablespoon of olive oil. After about 15 minutes, the pumpkin pieces should be soft. If the pumpkin pieces are skewered easily by your fork, turn the stove off and let the pumpkin cool.

Once the pumpkin pieces have cooled a bit, you can start loading them up into your blender. Here you can add the garlic. Put in as much garlic as you like! Recommended is about one clove per blender full. Add a bit of the water used to boil the pumpkin to reach the consistency of your preference.

You may also add a touch of olive oil per blender full. This gives the soup a softer and smoother texture. Recommended is one teaspoon per blender. Remember that after blending, you should taste the soup to make sure the salt, pepper, and garlic content are at your desired strengths. Do not be afraid to add more at this point.

Another good variation would be to add heavy cream to make the pumpkin puree thicker. This can be delicious, albeit higher in calories.

Just for your knowledge, the reason to wait for the pieces to cool before blending is that pumpkin is a thick vegetable capable of inducing some serious burns if handled while very hot. If any of the blended pumpkin were to splash on you, the damage would be considerably bad! Be very careful while handling hot pumpkin puree.

Once you have pureed the pumpkin, pour back into soup pot and bring to a boil before serving. Again, be very careful as pumpkin tends to bubble up and explode while being heated, which can result in some very bad burns to the chef!

This pumpkin recipe yields a couple of bowls of very healthy and hearty soup. Served with some toasted whole wheat pita bread (with maybe some crushed garlic and a dash of olive oil on top?) for dipping on the side, it makes a great lunch all in itself.


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