As of yesterday, I had 3 delicious, traditional Thanksgiving meals. All of the required items were represented. Turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and cranberries were represented on my plate. Full stop!!!! It isn’t even Thanksgiving yet! The idea of having one more Thanksgiving dinner may lead me to be a turkey and trot right out of the room! This Thanksgiving at home, I’m taking charge and instead of having another store-bought pumpkin pie after I’m stuffed to the gills, I’m serving the pumpkin as the first course.
Queensland Blue is a wonderful type of pumpkin that has a pale blue, hard outside and a sweet, succulent inside. If you prefer, you can substitute this type of pumpkin with any large, sweet winter squash: butternut, white Cinderella, and kombocha are my favorite exotic squashes, but the sugar pie pumpkins work just as well. You could also use canned pumpkin in a pinch. Just be sure not to use a Jack O Lantern pumpkin because it is too stringy to get the perfect consistency.
- 3-5lbs. Queensland Blue squash
- 1 can of unsweetened coconut cream
- 2 ribs chopped celery
- 2 cloves chopped or minced garlic
- 2 small shallots
- 2 splashes of Tabasco Habanaro sauce – any hot sauce will work
- 6 cups chicken stock – if you use bouillon, I recommend only using 4 cubes because the salt can mask the sweetness of the pumpkin.
- Splash of rum
- Salt and pepper or seasoning salt
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Line cookie sheet with parchment paper
- To cut the squash, use a heavy knife such as a Chef’s knife or a butcher knife. Cut it in half lengthwise. No need to remove the stem
- Remove the seeds. Either dry them to plant for next year’s bounty or roast them and add as a garnish.
- Cook for 40 minutes
- Remove from the oven and let it cool for 15-30 minutes so that you can handle it easily.
- After it is cooled, use disposable latex gloves and peel the skin away from the flesh. No need to worry about keeping the flesh intact. Just dump the meat of the pumpkin into a separate bowl and either toss out or compost the skin and stem.
- Place coconut cream in a soup pot and using medium heat, warm it until the solid and cream melt together.
- On your cutting board, Chop 2 ribs of celery 2 shallots, and 2 cloves of garlic.
- Add the celery, shallots, and garlic in the coconut milk and cook until softened.
- Add the pumpkin, rum, and hot sauce to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add chicken stock and heat for 15 minutes.
- Ladle mixture into a blender and puree until smooth.
- Serve immediately or store for up to 3 days.
Helpful Hints: use disposable gloves to remove the seeds, to separate seeds from the pulp after removed, and to peel skin off of pumpkin
If you don’t have a compost pile, just bury the cooked pumpkin skin in the backyard. In the spring, it will have turned into compost.