I’ve never used a real pumpkin as an actual cooking ingredient. Usually when there’s a pumpkin in my house I’m cutting the top off that mother-effer, carving a whimsical face in the shell, and then putting a candle inside to turn it into a lantern of sorts, called a jack-o-lantern. They’re said to ward off evil spirits, but I’m not buying it—my wife still comes home every night! Eh? Can I get a rim-shot? No? Whatever…

So, the other day I’m listening to Terry Gross interview Ruth Reichl on NPR (yep, I just wrote that), and Reichl starts talking about this pumpkin soup recipe in which you scoop out the pumpkin and all that, but instead of carving a funny face into it, you fill it with bread, cream, cheese, and then throw the sucker into the over oven for a good long while. Once it comes out of the oven, you have this soup in a lovely orange edible container! Mind? Blown! [The recipe from “MMMMM: A Fiestiary” here]

During this season of pumpkin bounty, I’m curious to know if there are any Blogtownie home cooks that are using the gorgeous bulbous gourds as an ingredient?

Yeah, I’m sure there are pumpkin pies and pumpkin muffins and such, but I’m looking for recipes like this one from Becky Hogle found at Pumpkin Nook’s Cookbook:

Pumpkin Stew


1 10 - 12 pound pumpkin
2 lb. Beef stew meat
2 tbs. Oil
1 Bell Pepper
1 Onion
4 Medium potatoes
3 Carrots
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Sticks of Celery
1 15oz. can of diced tomatoes
2-3 cups Water
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Preparation Directions

Carve a hole in the top of the pumpkin and remove seeds, and stringy insides [DO NOT CUT A FUNNY FACE INTO THE SHELL!! — PAC]. Set pumpkin aside. In a Dutch oven brown 2 lbs of stew meat in oil. Add in 1 bell pepper (sliced into inch thick slices), 1 onion (sliced), 4 medium potatoes (cubed), 3 carrots(cubed), 2 cloves of garlic(diced), 2 sticks of celery(sliced), 1 - 15 oz can of diced tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 2 - 3 cups of water. Let simmer for 1 hour. Place pumpkin in shallow pan, and place stew inside pumpkin. Brush the outside of the pumpkin with a light coating of oil. Bake pumpkin and stew at 350 for 2 hours, or until pumpkin is tender. Serve wile [sic] hot. Be sure to get chunks of pumpkin in your stew, as they enhance the flavor of the stew.

Sounds quite tasty, actually. But I’m not the only one with pumpkin fever. Matt Davis has his own pumpkin soup recipe on his blog.

So what about you? Feel like sharing?