Creamy and savory pumpkin soup served inside…what else? A whole pumpkin.
In colonial times, when the American home had but one oven (the fireplace), most cooking was done either in a pot or a “pie,” a dish cooked inside a temporary vessel made of dough. The resulting crust was meant for containment rather than consumption and was so hard and flavorless that even the pigs shied from them.
Now, let’s consider the pumpkin. It can be hollowed out, filled with goodness, and parked by the fire to slowly simmer. The gourd is tough enough to hold whatever is in it, yet unlike crusts or “coffins” as they were called, the pumpkin’s inner flesh cooks during the process bringing flavor and nutrients to the party. Thus, pumpkin “pies” were born, and I offer this version to honor that tradition. Is it what most of us think of as a pie? No. Is it delicious? Heck yeah it is. And you can compost the pot when you’re done.
This recipe first appeared in Season 14 of Good Eats.
Whole Pumpkin Pie Soup
- 1 whole (4-pound) baking pumpkin, rinsed
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter
- 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small apple, peeled, cored, and diced
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 ounces (57 grams) goat cheese
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Heat oven to 375ºF.
- Make a lid from the top of the pumpkin by cutting around the stem at a 45-degree angle. Make sure the opening is large enough to work within. Remove the seeds and fibers with a metal spoon or ice cream scoop. Reserve the seeds for another application, like pumpkin seed brittle. Brush the exterior of the pumpkin and lid with oil. Oil a round casserole dish large enough to hold the pumpkin and put the pumpkin inside.
- Combine the butter, onion, salt, garlic, apple, broth, and cream in the hollow pumpkin. Replace the lid of the pumpkin to cover. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove the lid. Carefully stir in the cheese and thyme, and bake for an additional 30 minutes, uncovered. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and use a large metal spoon to gently scrape some of the inner flesh off the walls and into the soup. Puree with an immersion blender to desired consistency, being careful to avoid the sides and bottom of the pumpkin. Serve immediately…that’s right, inside the pumpkin.
Hardware: Immersion blender
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes