So, here I am at the start of my fourth year at ES, and I must return once again to my roots, my own personal ES origin story: the stuffed pumpkin. I started off traditional, then took a slightly different tack, and last year went with a different course all together. This year, I decided to fill in the obvious gap: the app(etizer).
Inspired by Barbara Kingsolver’s semi-successful attempt in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I set out to make pumpkin soup in the pumpkin.
Here’s what I did:
I hollowed out a small pumpkin, saving the seeds, and filled it with milk. In retrospect, I should not have filled it up quite so much. Two-thirds full would have probably done the trick.
Then I poured the milk back out of the pumpkin and into a saucepan, where I heated it along with 2 cloves of garlic and 2 bay leaves.
I poured the milk back into the pumpkin, put the pumpkin in a pie pan for security’s sake, and baked the whole thing at 350. I stirred the milk and scraped the pumpkin (gently) every 15 minutes or so, and roasted for a total of 45 minutes, at which point my fear of puncturing the sides of the pumpkin compelled me to stop.
Lacking the cajones to blend the soup while still inside the pumpkin, I poured the contents into a bowl, blended with an immersion blender, then poured it back into the pumpkin. I added salt to taste.
Here’s what I found:
Pros: Presentation. This was the whole point, and it did look pretty cool. In addition, the whole thing was fairly low-key and required very few ingredients.
Cons: It was not as pumpkin-y as I would have liked, mainly because it was hard to incorporate as much pumpkin as possible without springing a leak. Also, it did require more tending then your typical pot of soup.
Verdict: Meh. Last year was better. Time to start thinking about next year.