Recently I’ve been a little obsessed with fall…stalking fall decor pics on pinterest, burning fall scented candles and craving fall foods like butternut squash. On Sunday we bought a couple of pumpkins to carve, you know, 2 people, 2 pumpkins. However, Fabio was slightly less excited about the pumpkin carving so I carved them both. I never realized how “faiutile” pumpkins are. “Faiutile” is an Italian slang word used in Tuscany or maybe just by Fabio and his peeps, that basically means useful in a surprising way. Why is the pumpkin faiutile?? Well, I bought the pumpkins primarily to carve them for decoration. But then I had this craving for fall flavors that just wouldn’t quit. So, I decided to bake the seeds and made a soup with the pumpkin meat from the cutouts. Not only are the pumpkins now beautifying our space, which is obviously most important, but I made a snack and at least two meals from them. Talk about useful!
To bake the seeds, I followed a recipe that had a great comment from a reader which totally updated the recipe and made it way more fabulous.
Obviously I had already drawn my carving design on the pumpkin and hacked into it at this point. Anyways, for delicious pumpkin seeds…
1. Collect pumpkin seeds and clean them of all pumpkin “stuff”
2. Let them dry (not sure why- maybe the original recipe wanted them dry)
3. Boil the seeds in apple cider for about 10 mins (that was the awesome part)
4. Strain the seeds from the cider and spread them on a baking sheet that has been coated with olive oil (I cover the baking pan with aluminum foil so it’s easier to clean up)
5. Sprinkle the seeds with salt, cinnamon, sugar and cloves
6. Bake at 275 for 10-30 minutes or until golden brown
Next up is the pumpkin soup which is a modification of a recipe I found online. The original recipe was more of a creamy soup and what I ended up making was more of a chunky stew.
You will need:
1. pumpkin meat…I used the cutouts from the two pumpkins I carved
2. 1 onion- sliced
3. 2 carrots- peeled and chopped
4. 1 apple- peeled and chopped
5. 1 cup of heavy cream
6. 3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (I used 1.5 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of whey- yes from Little Miss Muffit…eating her curds and whey. Fabio made ricotta on Saturday and whey was the byproduct left over after boiling the milk.)
7. A couple of cinnamon sticks
8. Cloves- however many you think is good
9. salt and pepper to taste
First, cut the pumpkin into about bit size pieces and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 mins or until soft when stabbed with a fork.
Next, saute the chopped onion, carrot, apple and pumpkin for about 10 mins in olive oil on med/med low. I added the onion and carrot first, then the apple because the onion and carrot take longer to cook. Next add the cream, chicken broth, cinnamon sticks, cloves, salt and pepper and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Be careful not to let the pumpkin get too soft. Then enjoy!
Oh, I almost forgot the most important part…the beautiful glowing carved pumpkin. I went non traditional and carved a leaf motif instead of the typical jack-o-lantern face.