• KaritasM

2Easy2Make Pumpkin Recipes!


Last week I shared a photo of a pumpkin (see below) that I bought at my local farmer’s market on my personal Facebook page and mentioned that I was making tons of soup with this king of vegetables. Happily, many of my friends from around the world, reacted to this post and sent me personal messages asking for pumpkin recipes and ideas on how to use this veggie . . . which prompted me share the following with you!

On cold winter days, I can’t get enough of comforting pumpkin soups but I also frequently stir meltingly sweet cubes of fried pumpkin into risottos or curries, offsetting its sweetness with fragrant herbs such as sage or thyme, or warming spices such as ginger.

Here in Greece, many make sweet syrup drenched phyllo pumpkin pies with nuts and raisins. I on the other hand, stick to my favorite sweet pumpkin treat; yummy muffins topped with pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds which are ideal for breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea or . . . . whenever !!!

So, get cozy this November with two of my delicious & easy2make pumpkin recipes below; sweet & spicy Pumpkin Muffins and/or savory Pumpkin Carrot Soup.

Before you start here is a useful Tip!

When in season cook a large quantity of pumpkin at a time, puree it and then when completely cold, freeze in zip lock bags per cup or lb.

The general rule for quantity is as follows:

  • ½ kg (1 lb ) of fresh pumpkin (without seeds) = 1 cup mashed/pureed.

  • To serve roasted or pureed pumpkin, count on about 250 g (½ lb) per person

#recipe

Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients for 12 regular sized muffins

A.

1 2/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

B.

1 ½ cup sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree

½* cup warm water

Optional topping: pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds

Preparation Method

Start by pre-heating oven to 175 ̊C (350 ̊F) and then, lightly oil a 12 cup muffin tin or 2 x 12 cup mini muffin tins

Mix all the ingredients in A.

In an electric mixer, beat together sugar and vegetable oil. Add eggs one at a time and beat until mixture lightens in color. Add pumpkin puree, water and mix well. Lastly add the dry ingredients (A) and stir carefully until thoroughly mixed.

Spoon batter into prepared into prepared muffin tin and sprinkle with a pumpkin and sunflower seeds (optional).

Bake muffins for about 25 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes and then transfer to a backing rack to cool completely.

Tips!

  • When making this muffin recipe with fresh pumpkin pulp, you may need to adjust the water a bit, depending on the thickness of pulp. Start by adding only ¼ cup of water and if needed add more!

  • Pumpkin pie filling (available in tins) works well in this recipe so if you are in a hurry or don’t have fresh pumpkin pulp/puree . . . use it!

  • These muffins can be made at least 1 – 2 days in advance and they are just as good! They also freeze extremely well.

  • When I lived in the States these muffins were a must for Thanksgiving but I bake them all year round and keep a batch in the freezer . . to enjoy at short notice!

  • Make mini muffins with this recipe and serve them as hors d' oeuvres – cut in half and sandwich together with a bit of ham and cheddar cheese (or other of preference).

©KaritasM – November 2016

Pumpkin Carrot Soup

Ingredients

½ cup olive oil

1 cup shallots, diced

2 minced garlic cloves (optional)

½ kg (1lb) carrots, cleaned, peeled, diced or sliced

1 ½ kg (3lbs) pumpkin pulp

1 l (5 cups) chicken stock

½ l (2 ½ cups) veal stock

2 - 3 Bay leaves

1 - 2 tblsp honey (optional)

1 - 2 cups of cream or half and half or coconut milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

Garnish: Roasted pumpkin seeds or minced chives

Yield: 12 generous servings

Other seasoning options:

Instead of the garlic and/or bay leaves here are some alternative ideas for the seasoning of the soup that you may like:

  • Add fresh ginger or a little Dijon mustard to soup.

  • A bit of mild curry is really tasty but careful not to overdo it!

  • Nutmeg + ground cinnamon + ground cardamom in equal amounts gives a festive taste to the soup. Start with a ¼ tsp. of each and if you like it stronger, add a bit more of each!

Preparation Method

Start by cooking the pumpkin.

  • Please note that you will need about 2 ½ kg (5 lb) fresh pumpkin to get 1 1/2 kg (3lbs) of pumpkin pulp.

My favorite method for cooking pumpkin (having removed the seeds) is to cook it in a pre-heated oven (180 C/375F); sliced and placed on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. The cooking time will depend on the size of your slices but generally it will take around 30 – 40 minutes.

Once cooked remove peel and then, mash or puree.

Make the soup:

Sweat shallots and minced garlic cloves in olive oil. Add carrots and cook for a couple of minutes. Add pureed pumpkin, chicken and veal stock and mix. Add bay leaves and cook for about 5 - 7 minutes or until the carrots are completely cooked.

Remove bay leaves and with a small electric hand blender, puree carrot/pumpkin mixture until smooth. Add honey, cream (or coconut milk) and stir.

If you feel the soup is a bit too thick for your likeness, thin it out with some water, stock, or cream (or coconut milk).

Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with a couple of roasted pumpkin seeds or finely chopped chives.

Tips!

Other seasoning options:

Instead of the garlic and/or bay leaves here are some alternative ideas for the seasoning of the soup that you may like:

  • Add fresh ginger or a little Dijon mustard to soup.

  • A bit of mild curry is really tasty but careful not to overdo it!

  • Nutmeg + ground cinnamon + ground cardamom in equal amounts gives a festive taste to the soup. Start with a ¼ tsp. of each and if you like it stronger, add a bit more of each!

  • For special occasions, serve the soup in small pumpkins. Cut a lid off the top and carefully hollow out the rest of pumpkin, making sure not to make any cracks. Before serving, make sure to place pumpkin either into hot oven or microwave to warm up, as otherwise the soup will be cold by the time it gets to the table!

©KaritasM – November 2016

#PumkinMuffins #PumpkinCarrotSoup #Soup #Muffins #Cook #PumpkinRecipes #Recipe

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