My son and I have been ill. It’s not normal for us to be sick, as we often manage to dodge all of the pesky viruses inducing most people’s seasonal misery, but we caught a virus, and we don’t feel like eating anything.
Except this of course. Pumpkin is a VERY amazing gourd. We have our pumpkins ripening in the house from October, when most people are harvesting for mere decorations. All but the stem and guts of a pumpkin are edible, and the seeds are a great snack, as well as nutritious. Rich in vitamin A, C, and potassium, pumpkin is a great “sick food”.
Cutting up a ripe pumpkin is much easier than cutting a squash. I just began like I would were I making a carving, and cut a hole in the top where the stem is, allowing access to remove the innards. I took them out by scraping the sides with a spoon, cleaning it nicely, and leaving the seeds/guts separation to the children.
Then I halved the pumpkin and cut it into smaller strips that could be peeled with a potato peeler. If your pumpkin is adequately ripe, this should be fine, but if it’s not totally ripe, you may find yourself either using a knife, or roasting the pumpkin like one would do for squash (in a pan of shallow water).
Once the pumpkin is peeled and diced, I set it aside. In a large pan, I browned a diced onion and four garlic cloves, in some oil. I always add the garlic as the onion is nearly cooked, because if you add it too soon, it will burn. Then I added my squash, representing about 16 cups diced, and about 8 cups of water. I also added 2 heaping tablespoonfuls of Better than Bouillon No Chicken Base. I then put on a lid and let it simmer for an hour or so, until the pumpkin was slightly transparent and soft enough to drive a fork through without effort.
Next, I let it cool. It’s hard playing the waiting game, but if you put hot boiling pumpkin and broth in a food processor, you’re likely to get burned. I have a smaller food processor, but there’s no reason why the pumpkin couldn’t be run through a Vitamix. I recommend against trying to use a mixer.
The soup is slightly grainy like squash, but it feels good on the throat and mixes well with the broth rather than separating. You could easily add other delights to it, such as sauteed peppers or even your average chicken noodle soup fare, like peas, carrots, or celery.