Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's the Great Pumpkin!

Despite my mother's warning, I was determined to cook a whole pumpkin for...well, for something.  After a little recipe searching and asking some ravelry peeps for advice, I decided on a Caribbean Pumpkin Black Bean Soup.  Now I can't find the recipe I liked best so I am going to make up my own, and of course I'll share it with you all!  But before we get to that, let me tell you a little bit about how I turned a whole fresh pumpkin into about 2.5 cups of fresh puree. 

Thanks to Elana's Pantry, I was confident about conquering and chopping up my little (actually a little too big) sugar pumpkin.  After all, I just have to cut it in half, clean out the seeds and pulp, and roast each half in a pan filled with a quarter inch of water.  No biggie.  I've peeled awkwardly shaped raw butternut squashs with a giant knife and gingerly shaved the prickly skin off of countless slippery pineapples with the same giant knife.  Well, maybe my giant knife wasn't quite sharp enough, because cutting a pumpkin in half, even a small one, is hard!  I'd rank it up there somewhere with giving yourself a bikini wax (awkward and painful) and giving a screaming cat a flea bath (simply put, hell in a bathtub).  My knife actually got stuck in the top of the pumpkin like a scene from a horror movie!  Too bad I didn't get a picture of that...when I finally separated the pumpkin halves I let out an audible sigh of relief.

Cleaning out the pumpkin was no biggie.  Of course I saved my seeds for roasting.  Squeezing the slimey pulp through my fingers used to be (ok, still is) my favorite part of carving Jack-O-Lanterns.  I managed to refrain from doing that today, but  mostly because I didn't want to get any slime on my nice sweater.  Mental note:  get an apron.  After 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven, I had this:

Pumpkin seeds gently flavored with my favorite Pampered Chef Sweet and Smoky Barbeque Rub, and a beautiful roasted pumpkin! 

Close up of my delicious roast pumpkin flesh
And the soup my pumpkin became:

Caribbean Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

3 cups of pumpkin puree or roasted pumpkin (to be blended later)
2 cups vegetable broth
2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 sweet onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons minced ginger
1 15 oz can of light coconut milk
1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and well rinsed
salt and black pepper to taste

1.  Heat oil in soup pot.  Add onions, carrots, and cumin.  Saute until slightly softened.  Add pumpkin, ginger, coconut milk, 1 can of tomatoes (if  you will not be using an immersion blender add both cans of tomatoes now), chili powder, and vegetable broth.  Heat through.  Use immersion blender to blend the soup until it is about 80% liquified.  Blending is optional, but recommended if you are using whole roasted pumpkin.  Add black beans and second can of tomatoes (if not already added).  Bring to a boil and season to taste. 

No comments: