Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkin Shortage?

Did you know there was a pumpkin shortage?

That if you went to the store to buy canned pumpkin, all you would find was a dusty shelf where the canned pumpkin should be?

Maybe you also didn’t know how easy it is to turn a fresh pumpkin into pumpkin puree!

I didn’t know all these things either, until Sunday at about 3:00 when getting ready for our pumpkin-themed dinner… and finding no pumpkin!

The Mr and I decided to buy a pumpkin and try to puree it ourselves. We found instructions on the internet (how did we ever live without it I wonder) and in an hour we had enough pumpkin puree to make the recipes below.

I added left-over chili to the soup to make a really hearty main dish, and served it with the waffles. The sweetness of the waffles was a little like cornbread, and we ate them like crackers with the chili-soup. The souffle was a delicious cheesecake-like dessert, light after the spicy meal. Yum!

Tuscan Pumpkin-White Bean Soup
1 spray(s) olive oil cooking spray, or enough to coat pot
1 medium onion(s), coarsely chopped
15 oz canned pumpkin
3 1/2 cup(s) fat-free chicken broth
15 1/2 oz canned white beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp ground oregano
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
6 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

- Coat a large soup pot with cooking spray and set over medium-low heat. Add onion, cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.
- Stir in pumpkin, broth, beans and oregano; simmer 8 minutes.
- In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. (Note: Make sure not to overfill blender in order to avoid splattering.) Return soup to pot and reheat; season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top each with 1 tablespoon of grated cheese. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Pumpkin Waffles
1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp table salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 large egg(s), lightly beaten
1/4 cup(s) dark brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup(s) canned pumpkin
1 1/4 cup(s) buttermilk
1 spray(s) cooking spray

- Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder and next four ingredients in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.
- Combine egg, brown sugar, oil, pumpkin and buttermilk in a bowl; stir with a whisk until blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture and stir until well combined.
- Coat a waffle iron with cooking spray; preheat. Spoon about 1⁄4 cup of batter per waffle onto hot waffle iron, spreading batter to edges. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until steaming stops; repeat with remaining batter. Yield: 5 servings (serving size: 2 waffles).

Pumpkin Souffle
2 Tbsp sugar
15 oz canned pumpkin, puree
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup(s) fat-free evaporated milk
4 oz Neufchatel cheese, softened
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp ground ginger
3 large egg(s), separated
1 large egg white(s)
1/3 cup(s) sugar

- Heat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 2 1/2-quart soufflé dish with cooking spray, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Over medium heat, cook pumpkin until no longer steaming, about 8 minutes. Mix together cornstarch and evaporated milk, whisk into pumpkin. Bring to boil; remove from heat and cool.
- Beat Neufchatel with pumpkin pie spice and ginger; beat in yolks to combine. Beat in cooled pumpkin mixture.
- Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/3 cup sugar one tablespoon at a time until stiff. In three additions, fold whites into pumpkin mixture. Pour into prepared dish. Bake until puffed and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.

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