I took my adult children on a cruise a while ago. We had not been on a vacation since they were young. It was a well needed vacation. On the trip we tried all the exotic dishes they offered. One was a pumpkin pot pie. I did not try it, I do not like my pot pie sweet and cinnamon. My son who is the vegetable fanatic, tried it he loved it so much he ordered two. We all sampled it and I had to admit it was good. I promised him I would make it for him this fall.
The cruise version was in a small crock with a pie crust on top. As my creativity took over I decided to cook it in the small sugar pumpkins. I have never attempted this so I was up for the challenge. I must say it turned out better than I thought for my first attempt. My son said it was better than the cruise ship version. I did bake it in the pumpkin and he ate the entire serving which is very large. He was so funny scooping every last bit of pumpkin meat out that he could get.
This was very easy to make and was a true hearty fall meal. We decided for our next attempt it would be best to cut the pumpkins in half rather than using a whole pumpkin since there is really a lot to eat that way.
Cut top off of 5-6 pumpkins, remove seeds and pulp. Save seeds. Peel two pumpkins. This is easiest if you slice them first and peel each section. Dice the pumpkin, combine with diced onions and minced garlic. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil sprinkle with salt. Roasting the pumpkin is essential to give a deep roasted flavor.
Place in baking dish and roast 1 hour. Rub interior of pumpkins. Place on cookie sheets, roast at 350 ° oven on bottom rack of oven for 1 1/2 hour until tender. Once baked remove from oven set aside.
In large pot combine diced sweet potatoes, onions, celery, and garlic, sauté with butter until potato is tender. Cover vegetables with 4 cups of chicken broth. Add roasted pumpkin, simmer on low for 30 min. Using hand blender puree half of the soup mixture, to form a thick chowder with chunks remaining. Continue to cook on low until pumpkins are ready to fill.
Prepare pie crust. Making fun pumpkin faces or harvest cutouts. Spoon soup in to pumpkin leaving pumpkin meat in shell. Cover with pie crust, baste with egg wash. Return to hot 350° oven. Bake for 30 minutes until crust is golden brown. Let cool 15 minute before serving
Note: I would recommend cutting the pumpkins in half instead of using the whole pumpkin. As the serving were large and not enough stew remained to fill them fully. The pie crust did not have anything to rest on and ruined the face designs we created.
This would be a very fun fall activity for kids. Making faces for their own dinner does encourage them to eat new things.
The scraps of pie dough can be brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon for a yummy snack.
- 6 small sugar pumpkins
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 4 celery stalks diced
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- I teaspoon basil
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 cup vegetable stock
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 double crust
- Preheat an oven to 350°F.
- Cut the top off the pumpkins and scrape out the seeds and stringy bits.
- Rub the inside with olive oil then season the inside with salt and pepper.
- Place cut side up on a sheet tray and cover tightly with foil or leave on lid.
- Bake 90 minutes, or until flesh is tender. Remove and let cool. Dum out any moisture that has accumulated in the bottom.
- In a large heavy stock pot add 2 tablespoon olive oil, sweet potato, onions, celery and garlic saute for 5 minutes, just slightly browning the ingredients.
- Mix to combine. Stir in chicken broth and add seasonings.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium, salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle the soup into the pumpkin. Cover with crust
- Prepare dough. Roll out.
- Cut in 6 inch circles. place on filled pumpkins.
- Brush dough with an egg wash
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and serve. Soup will be hot.