Halloween Plus: Pumpkin Carving, Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin Soup!

One of eight pumpkins from Farmer Bob's garden. Photos by Sue Frause.

Removing the pulp and the seeds.

Drawing the design with a felt tip marker. 

The finished Jack-O-Lantern with air holes in the lid.

After you carve your pumpkin, separate the seeds, as they're a tasty autumn treat. Plus it's fun getting your hands all gunky in the pumpkin pulp! If you've never toasted them, here's an easy recipe, along with a yummy pumpkin soup. We served it for an Oktoberfest lunch and it was a big hit!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
The Silver Palate Cookbook

Seeds of 1 pumpkin
2 Tbsps. vegetable oil
Salt, to taste

1. Rinse the seeds to remove strings and pulp and pat dry with paper towels. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet and let stand for several hours to dry.
3. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. Toss the seeds with the oil and salt to taste. Toast the seeds in the oven, stirring every 5 minutes or so, unti golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely. Taste and add more salt if needed.
4. Serve the pumpkin seeds as a snack or use as a garnish.

Smoky Pumpkin Soup 
The Silver Palate Cookbook

6 slices bacon, diced, cooked crisp, fat reserved
4 Tbsps. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
6 cups peeled cut-up pumpkin (1-inch pieces)
6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds to garnish (optional)

1. Heat the bacon fat and butter in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin and saute for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Pour in the sock and simmer covered until the pumpkin is very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Add the Marsala, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Process the soup in batches in a blender until smoother. Return to the stock pot. 
4. Add the bacon. Simmer 10 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with pumpkin seeds. 


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