We call ourselves a "homestead." What that means to me is a topic for another post, but, part of what it means to me to be a "homesteader" is to make use of the materials you have on hand. A "material" that has been on hand at our homestead the past few weeks is some free pumpkins - some given to us & some plucked (with permission) from a kind neighbor's field after the harvest. These pumpkins have been beckoning me from their cozy spot on the front porch nestled in beside the straw bale and old chicken crate.
In previous years, I've made only 1 or 2 pumpkins into puree for the freezer. I use the puree to make pumpkin baked goods, such as whoopie pies and bread. This year, I had 3 very large neck pumpkins and a fairy tale pumpkin. Our neighbor told us that fairy tale pumkins are excellent for making pies.
In the midst of my peeling and chopping and cooking to make pumpkin puree, I thought, this is going to be WAAAAY too much pumpkin puree for baked goods. Hmmm...how I could I turn it into a meal? I remembered that I had just heard about making pumpkin soup, and the idea kind of snowballed from there. So, this was what was on the menu at Russell Homestead for supper last evening. (Note: If you get bored with all the recipes, just skip down to the Pumpkin Smoothie - it was by far the crowning jewel of the meal!)
I used a recipe from the Pioneer Woman. However, I did not do my pumpkins like she did, which changed the pumpkin measurements. I also didn't have cream on hand, so I used goat milk and butter. Here's my version.
5 cups of pumpkin puree
4 cups of chicken broth
1/3 cup of maple syrup
3/4 cup of milk
2 Tablespoons of butter
Directions: Combine puree, broth, and syrup in a kettle and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Slowly add some of the puree mixture to the milk to heat up the milk before pouring it into the soup (to help to avoid curdling). Add the warmed up milk and butter. Add the three spices until your taste buds agree it is enough. I added about 1 teaspoon of salt and just a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Eat with roasted pumpkin seeds (see recipe below).
Roasted Salted Pumpkin Seeds
My wonderful husband introduced me to roasted pumpkin seeds many years ago. We roast seeds from all types of pumpkins. The classic big orange carving pumpkins seem to have the best seeds, but they are all delicious.
To make them pull the seeds from the fleshy part of the pumpkin. It is okay if some of the flesh remains. Put the seeds on a cookie sheet. Coat with oil and add salt. Roast in the oven on 350 for 10-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
We eat these for snacks, but on this particular night, we ate them in our pumpkin soup.
Rolls with Honey Butter Spread
Okay, so this recipe didn't fit my pumpkin theme. I should've made pumpkin butter, but I remembered this recipe I had made before for honey butter spread and thought it would complement the soup well.
The rolls are an old favorite around our house. Bread and dinner rolls are two things I haven't mastered yet, but these rolls are easy and quick. I use them as hamburger rolls and dinner rolls. Since I didn't alter either of these recipes significantly, I will simply provide the links to the Taste of Home 40-minutes hamburger buns recipe and Eat Cake for Dinner's cinnamon honey butter spread.
As I mentioned previously, this was the crowing jewel of the meal. I didn't think pumpkin smoothies sounded all that great, but these were delicious! I searched online for yummy sounding pumpkin smoothie recipe, but nothing appealed to me. I decided to try my method of making fruit smoothies. Note: I froze pumpkin puree in an ice cube tray about 5 hours before making the recipe.
1 ice cube tray full of frozen pumpkin puree
Directions: Put pumpkin cubes in the blender and cover with milk. (Note: I used goat milk, which is very creamy. If you don't have goat milk, whole milk will yield the best results. My milk was also slushy from being previously frozen, which made blending difficult, but yielded an "ice cream like" texture). Add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, & vanilla to taste. If you like measurements, I did approximately 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon.
Let's just say, after tasting these, the remainder of my pumpkin puree got frozen in ice cube trays to make these again sometime.
My recap of the meal: It was fun making use of what we had on hand. The soup was tasty, but, once a year during pumpkin season is probably the only time it will make an appearance on the Russell table. The pumpkin seeds were already a fall staple around here, and pumpkin smoothies will certainly be joining them!
Thanks for stopping by! What are you doing with the bounties of the PA pumpkin harvest?
Vanessa from Russell Homestead. Follower of the Lord Jesus, wife of my knight in shining armor, mother of 5 wonderful children, and joint-keeper of the Russell homestead. Thanks for stopping by!
Independent Field Representative