Cooking with Kate: Finally Fall

The temperatures are finally dropping. Time for scarves and boots, crunchy leaves, fire pits, and all things pumpkin! Not only is pumpkin a staple ingredient for pumpkin pies and muffins, it is a good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and beta carotene. Pumpkin seeds are also high in protein. Here are a couple of my favorite savory pumpkin recipes to start out the fall pumpkin season.

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

  • 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 275°F. Spray a rimmed cookie sheet with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except the pumpkin seeds. Mix well. Add the seeds and toss to coat. Spread seasoned seeds on the prepared pan and roast at 275°F for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, until toasted and crisp. Store in an airtight container.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

  • 2 medium sugar or pie pumpkins, fresh
  • Sugar or pie pumpkins differ from carving pumpkins. They are smaller, more dense, and have more flavor than carving pumpkins.
  • 3 (15 oz) cans packed pumpkin puree may be substituted for the roasted pumpkin
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • ½ stick butter
  • 1 quart chicken stock or broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup heavy cream + extra for garnish
  • ¼ - ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish

Preheat oven to 300°F. Cut and remove a small circle at the top of each pumpkin. Remove pulp and seeds; discard. Place pumpkins on a baking sheet and roast at 300°F for 30-45 minutes or until pumpkins are tender. Let cool slightly before removing pumpkin flesh from skin. Set aside.

In a large pot, melt butter and sauté diced onion until soft (about 5 minutes). Add chicken stock, pumpkin flesh (or canned pumpkin), and spices. Mash pumpkin slightly and mix well. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until heated through (10-15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Working in batches, transfer the soup mixture into a blender and puree until completely smooth and creamy. A hand or immersion blender may also be used. Return the soup to the pot and add the heavy cream. Keep warm over medium-low heat until ready to serve.

Ladle soup into soup bowls or small hollowed out pumpkins. Garnish with a drizzle of heavy cream and a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately. Makes 6-8 servings.