A huge pumpkin from CSA had been decorating our kitchen cabinet since the beginning of the Fall season. Honestly, I wasn't too thrilled about getting pumpkin. Why? First, its big size made it hard to handle in my small kitchen. I mean, prior to pureeing it, I had to either bake or steam it. Since one pumpkin couldn't fit in one batch, some had to sit on my limited-space kitchen counter. Second, canned pumpkin was easy to get and very affordable, while making it from scratch required time and energy. I usually had to dedicate half of my day (and kitchen) to make pureed pumpkin.
Last year I accidentally let a pumpkin got rotten, and felt bad about it. How did I not if I knew that that pumpkin was grown by local people we know fairly well, who dedicated their live to grow the best produce while also make better environment. Therefore, for the sake of my personal satisfaction and our CSA commitment, I made my own pumpkin puree. I am glad I did, because the process apparently wasn't as elaborate as I thought.
Here the direction what I got from Megan, our CSA farmer:
Preheat your oven to 375F. Then, cut pumpkin in half. Remove seeds. Then, chop pumpkin halves into chunks about the size of your hand and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake about 1 hour, or until soft. When pumpkin has cooled, remove pulp/meat of pumpkin and blend in a food processor until smooth. Place in a colander lined with a bread cloth or cheesecloth for 30 minutes-1 hour until it has drained. Pumpkin is then ready to use in any recipe, or it can be frozen.
Having pumpkin puree, I knew what I could make for the church potluck on the first Sunday of this month. Pumpkin soup! I used a recipe from Food Network. The soup turned out to be bland for my taste, so I added roasted garlic and curry powder. I actually never tasted pumpkin soup before so I didn't know what to expect, but I loved how it turned out.
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 apple, peeled and diced
3 cups fresh pumpkin puree
5 fresh sage leaves
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup cream
3 cloves roasted garlic (roast when you roast pumpkin) Curry powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Melt butter and saute onion, carrot, apple, and sage until tender. Add in pumpkin puree and garlic, cook about 8 to 10 minutes. Puree in a food processor or use immersion blender. Return the puree to the stockpot, add the chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Then add the cream and simmer for 5 more minutes, lowering the heat if necessary so it does not boil. Season with curry powder, salt, and pepper.