Enter the pressure cooker! I've been steaming many things in my pressure cooker this year, including eggs! The nice thing about steaming dense vegetables in a PC is that it takes only a few minutes of actual cooking time, and then once I turn off the heat I let the veggies sit inside, with the lid still locked in place, to completely soften for about another 10-15 minutes, or all day if I want to.
Pumpkin is not very tasty. Yes, I bought the "sugar pie" pumpkin, but it must have been mislabeled because there was nothing sugary or even pumpkiny about its flavor. I steamed the pumpkin in four or five wedges (although I could have steamed it whole I wanted to use my steamer basket), scooped the flesh out but never tasted it on it's own.
I went ahead and started a regular soup in my 6 qt PC. Onion, celery, sauteed in some olive oil. I added two carrots, some fresh ginger, the flesh of one small pumkin, turkey stock and oh yes...a can of lite coconut milk! Since the pumpkin was already cooked it didn't need long, maybe 10 minutes at high pressure and then I turned it off and let the pressure come down naturally, about 10-15 min more.
I took my immersion blender to it (after I fished out the chunks of ginger), and a beautiful orange creamy soup appeared. Now, the taste test! Um...um....um.....is this what "real" pumpkin tastes like? Um...not so nice. It barely resembled any pumpkin flavor, what to do? What can I add to make it taste like pumpkin? It seemed sooooo far away from any pumpkin I've ever been used to tasting. Salt? Well, it did need a bit more salt, but that wasn't all. Sugar? Acid? Fat? The only thing that made sense was sugar. Even tomato soup sometimes needs sugar, so sugar it was, brown sugar.
I started out cautiously because I did not want pumpkin pie soup! 1 tbl, taste, another tbl, taste....almost...do I dare? Okay one more. Viola! Yep, that was it. 3 tbl of brown sugar isn't all that bad! Especially because there's a ton of other really nutritious goodness. I think I'll go ahead and make some more turkey stock from the last carcass but add some meat to the next batch!
Stolen from Nadine, Pumpkin Soup
one small pumpkin (3-4 lb)
1 med onion, large dice
2 stalks celery, large dice
2 med carrots, large dice
2 c. stock
1 can lite coconut milk
salt to taste
sugar to taste
(ginger is optional)
You don't need a pressure cooker at all to make this soup. You don't even need to pre roast or pre steam your pumpkin squash, but you will have to peel it, seed it and cut it into a large dice, which might be difficult to handle such a large and dense vegetable. So, throwing it in the oven, cut in two, cut side down on a roasting pan for 30-45 min until soft enough to be pierced with a fork will do it. Let cool enough to handle and scoop flesh out of the hard skin. It should be about 4 c. of pumpkin. (you can scoop the seeds out after it's roasted or steamed)
Heat olive oil in pot, add onion and celery. Cook for 5-8 min until translucent. Add carrots, pumpkin flesh, stock, coconut milk and about 2 tsp salt. If pressure cooking, lock the lid in place, let pressure come to high and turn heat down to maintain pressure. Cook for about 10 minutes, turn off burner, let the pressure come down naturally.
If cooking in a soup pot, follow all previous instructions except after the addition of the liquids simply bring all ingredients to a boil, turn heat down, cook slightly covered for probably 25-30 minutes until veggies are soft.
Mix with an immersion blender, OR wait until soup cools down enough to put in a tradition blender or food processor. Blend or process until smooth. Taste for seasoning....sugar and salt. Maybe you'll get a better tasting pumpkin than I did!
I'll post a picture of the finished soup when I serve myself a beautiful dish of it and I can snap one to share! In the mean time I only have photos of my steamed, pressure cooked pumpkin and what it looked like when I was scooping it out!
Have you ever made pumpkin soup, or a pumpkin pie from a "real" pumpkin? How did it turn out?
(ps "BSKBG" stands for Big Sur KettleBell Gal!)