Soup in a pumpkin brought to a holiday meal table makes a spectacular presentation. It’s a family favorite and we’ve made it many times over the years. It dates to the time when we looked forward on Sunday to getting the Washington Post newspaper in our mail box. It impressed me that the world news was always on the front page.
Each Parade Magazine contained a food feature by some well known chef such as James Beard, Julia Child, The Silver Palate authors–Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins (my personal favorites). This was probably my first glimpse at gourmet cooking. The November 13, 1983, issue contained a very young-looking Julia Child preparing “Soup in a Pumpkin.” I still have the original copy.
We’ve made some adaptions to suit our needs over the years. My recipe contains much less butter then the original recipe and lower-fat cream (one could always use milk in place of cream). This year I had difficulty finding a pumpkin. Guess I waited too long. I went to every grocery store in the area, and finally the grocer at Whole Foods eventually came out from the back with an 18 lb pumpkin. It was too large and turned out to have very little flavor. But it was fun to make and we will eat it anyway.
A 6 – 7 lb solid pumpkin is large enough. A handwritten note from my mother says “make sure the pumpkin fits in the oven.” Another hint is to watch the cooking. The pumpkin will turn dark, golden brown. You should smell the aroma of the pumpkin baking and a knife pierced at the top of the pumpkin into the lip should show the pumpkin it soft. The broth inside should be steamy. However, if cooked too long, the pumpkin will collapse. Really, that’s part of the merriment.
The recipe is posted at a companion bog, mayleeskitchen.com I’m getting this one going as it has a feature to allow a printable version of the recipe, both with and without the photo. Eventually I will add the nutritional information to the recipes.
Pumpkin, of course, with it’s dark-orange pump is very nutritious and high in Vitamin A pre-cursors. So something good and healthy!
Post-note: It took awhile to search out the original Parade Magazine article. In the process I uncovered many other recipes I’d stashed away. Those old recipes are probably the best, too!