Monday, November 29, 2021

One pumpkin goes a long way...

It all started earlier this month when my three sisters came to lunch at Farm Dover. The four of us had not been together in far too long. We had a lot of catching up to do and did so over bowls of Pumpkin Black-Bean Soup that Sister Kathy had made. It was delicious: rich and hearty, earthy and warm. 

Fast forward three weeks and I was still thinking about that soup. I was also getting tired of looking at a giant pumpkin that grew in my garden and had taken up residence on my kitchen counter.  It was time to take action (and the timing was perfect as Son-in-law Nate had sharpened all of my knives while we waited for the turkey to cook on Thanksgiving.)

Last night, I sliced the pumpkin in half and scooped out the seeds. The pumpkin was so large that I had to roast half of it at a time. It produced A LOT of pumpkin flesh. 

With the first half, I made a large pot of Kathy's soup and froze three jars of pumpkin purée, each containing enough to make a future pot of soup. 

The roasted second half was designated for pumpkin butter which I use in my pumpkin pie recipe. The pureed pumpkin was added to my slow cooker, along with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. I now have enough frozen to make a half dozen or more pies. All I need to do is add eggs, milk and cream and bake it in a pie shell. 

Too bad I only think of making this pie once a year at Thanksgiving....

And, the seeds were roasted as a thank you to Nate for his knife-sharpening session. 

My basement freezer is now full of pumpkin purée and spiced pumpkin butter. I'm all set until next year. 

I can't quite give up planting lots of pumpkins. They are easy to grow, fun to let little ones pick, and interesting to cook...but just one for me, thank you; it goes a long way.


Pumpkin Black-Bean Soup

Serves: An army (well maybe more like 12 people). Great to freeze for a later date.


3 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 15-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 cups vegetable or beef broth
2 cups pumpkin purée (canned is fine, just make sure it is plain purée -- not pie filling)
1-1/2 cups red wine


In a food processor or with an emersion blender, coarsely puée beans and tomatoes. 

In a 6-quart heavy pot cook onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring until onion is softened. 

Stir in bean purée. 

Stir in broth, pumpkin and wine until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. 

Serve topped with roasted pumpkin seeds.


Pumpkin Pie


1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust
2 cups of pumpkin butter (see recipe below)
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Blind bake the crust by lining it with parchment paper and filling with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges just start to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the weights and lining and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. 

Whisk the pumpkin butter into the milk, cream and eggs and then add vanilla. 

Fill the pie crust. If it looks like there is too much filling for the curst, stop when you come close to the edge of the crust.

Transfer the pie to the hot oven and immediately turn down the heat to 375 degrees. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes -- until the pie is puffed in the middle, but still jiggles when you gently shake the pan. Let the pie cool before serving -- it will continue to set as it cools. 


Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter


7 cups of pumpkin purée (or three 15 oz. cans of 100% pumpkin purée)
2.5 cups of brown sugar packed
1.5 cups of apple juice (or cider)
1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 dash of salt


Add the pumpkin purée, brown sugar, apple juice, spices and salt to slow cooker. Stir until combined. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours or HIGH for 2 hours. 

Stir once the pumpkin butter is cooked. Cool before spooning into jars. Refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze for up to 12 months. If freezing, leave an inch of room at the top of the jars.