Post-pumpkin

Last night I carted six large containers of pumpkin pulp—the remains of the jack-o-lantern—to a friend’s large freezer two blocks away from our house. My own freezer is overflowing at this time of year with berries, applesauce, and blanched vegetables from the garden: Swiss chard, snap beans, and grated zucchini especially.

The day after Hallowe’en is always a good time to apply one’s culinary ingenuity in confronting the “gourd issue”: should one just take the easy way out and compost the sucker, or do another Google search for pumpkin recipes? Since I grew the gourd in question, I’ve usually opted for the latter—this year, though, I skipped the internet and came up with something of my own. It’s hearty, warming, and goes well with a sprinkling of croutons made from your kids’ leftover breakfast toast, as I discovered yesterday.

 

Curried Pumpkin Soup

 

2-3 cups pureed pumpkin pulp (or winter squash)

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic (or more!)

Butter or olive oil for sauteing

2 teaspoons of chopped fresh ginger

½ cup red lentils

4-5 cups vegetable stock or water

2 teaspoons curry powder or curry paste

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

Salt to taste

 

In a soup pot, saute onions in oil or butter over medium heat until translucent, then add carrot, celery, garlic and ginger and continue cooking another 5 minutes. Stir in curry, then add stock, pumpkin, lentils, and salt. Cook covered over low-medium heat until lentils are mushy, stirring every so often. Add croutons and/or a dollop of plain yogurt before serving, if desired. Freezes well.