Pumpkin Season


RachelPumpkins (along with apples) are like the trumpet blowers of the fall season. First you see them turning from green to orange in your garden. Then you see a bunch of those happy little gourds sitting on the hill of a farmer's barn on your way to town. The next thing you know the leaves are turning and you are craving pumpkin spice lattes, hot cider and a slice of yummy warm fresh pie.

While you are busting out the flannel and getting cozy with that hunk of pumpkin pie, pie pumpkins everywhere are wiping away a goopy tear because they know the truth. You see, the cute orange pumpkin is very famous for this time of year. But unless you grow your own pie pumpkins or buy them from a local farmer that stuff you are scooping out of the can is not pumpkin. It's actually more along the lines of a butternut squash, and companies like Libby have developed their own breeds of squash over the years to maximize yield, sugar content and consistency in their final product. It tastes good and technically the squash in the can is a cousin to pumpkin. The USDA's definition of pumpkin is rather loose, encompassing a range of fleshy and flavorful squash including pumpkin. But they are rarely if ever used.

Kinda disappointing, right? No matter. You can make your own pumpkin puree! BUT FIRST, a note about pie pumpkins; don't drag in that pumpkin off your porch that your children carved a face into to hack up and puree. It will be gross. So so so gross. Put it back. What you want is a small round pumpkin called a pie pumpkin. Pie pumpkins have a higher sugar content than jack-o-lantern types and they are less stringy too.

pie pumpkins
A whole bunch of tasty pie pumpkins.

Preheat your oven to 400 F. Now get a big sturdy knife and cut them in half and scoop out the guts and seeds and bust off the stem. The best tool I have found for scooping pumpkin guts is a plain old ice cream scoop. (Save the seeds to roast or make pumpkin seed brittle! OR just give the seeds and skins to your chickens they will thank you for it!)

cut pumpkins
Halved pumpkins and tools for the job.

9/26/2015 8:02:06 AM

Rachel, welcome to the GRIT blogging community. It is indeed the time for pumpkins and it definitely defines the beginning of fall. Your recipe for fall pumpkin soup is simple and really looks good. I love soup any time of the year but it just takes better when there's a chill in the air, don't you think? ***** Although it's officially fall the weather here in Nebraska is not co operating just yet. Nights are in the upper 60s and day time temps are upper 70s or lower 80s. Leaves are falling off the trees but strangely they are turning their fall color yet. I will be starting garden cleanup this week. Almost every thing is finished. I'm hoping to lift the potatoes, onions, and harvest the cabbage to make sauerkraut this week as well. ***** Have a great fall pumpkin soup day.

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