I've never been a huge pumpkin person. Pumpkin cookies and pumpkin pie was about as far as I got. But this year, I decided to try using more from our pumpkins than just the seeds. Turning fresh pumpkin into pumpkin puree was much easier than I thought it would be.
This site was a huge help. I found that when I cooked the small pie pumpkins, this method worked perfectly. But then I tried to do some larger pumpkins and found that I needed to turn the heat down a bit in the oven. The skins were burning before the inside was tender. Once the pumpkin was cooked and a bit cooled, peeling the meat off the pumpkin skin was so easy. I used a spoon and just scraped it off. I also found that I didn't need to puree the meat. Mashing it with a fork did a fine job at getting the pumpkin to a nice consistency.
So then I decided to make pumpkin soup. I'd had squash soup before and loved it, so why not pumpkin soup, right? But I had no idea there were so many varieties of pumpkin soup! Most of them included heavy cream or milk. This wouldn't work because I wanted to make the soup available for Alyssa - no milk products allowed. So. I just decided to wing it. It was just pumpkin soup right? How can you mess that up?
I had 4 cups of pumpkin and 4 cups of fresh chicken stock from dinner the evening before. To make the soup, first I finely chopped half an onion and two cloves of garlic to saute in a bit of olive oil. I turned the heat down pretty low while they were cooking because I wanted them nice and soft. Then I added the pumpkin and chicken stock. Mashed that all together and let it come to a simmer.
Then it was time for seasonings. I decided to sprinkle in some chili powder and cinnamon with salt and pepper. After that cooked for a bit, I tasted it to see if I was on the right track. Eureka! The cinnamon and chili powder was perfect together. I added it a little more of both as well as some allspice and a bit more salt. To sweeten it, I added a blub of fresh maple syrup and stirred. Then it just simmered away until my friend and her adorable boys arrived. Everyone loved it! Well, except Alyssa. :-)