Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Soup!


Long Island Cheese Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata)

When Antonia was a wee little girl and “making things from scratch” became a very high priority in my kitchen, San Francisco hippie woman that I was, I decided that November was Master Pie Crust month. And I made pie crusts over and over until I could make one half asleep in minutes. That little game I played with myself has served me for decades. And apparently this fall has been All About Pumpkins and I am learning as much as I can. And the most important discovery I have made, as someone who has wanted the perfect Pumpkin Soup Recipe for years, is that the secret is not the recipe. The secret is the kind of pumpkin. Who knew? And what I have learned through all these weeks of pumpkin and winter squash learning and sharing is that the very best pumpkin to use for pumpkin soup bears the unlikely name Long Island Cheese Pumpkin, an heirloom variety, which supposedly is/was commonly grown on Long Island. (Would love to hear the stories, if you know them!) As I don’t recall ever seeing a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin in any kind of store, ever, nor had I ever heard of one before this summer, I’m not too sure how likely it will be that you can find one, other than at your local farmer’s markets. You may have to grow one. I have poked around and I think you will have no trouble finding the heirloom seeds. I’m partial to all things Baker Creek Seed Company, so here’s their link. Plan early! And, boy, are you gonna be glad!

So, first I’m going to post a refresher course on how to easily make pumpkin puree, and then I’m going to show you how to make fabulous pumpkin soup in, oh, say, five minutes. Really.

First you grab an apple corer and poke two holes in the top of your pumpkin. Place in a large pot of water. Let the water come to a soft boil and cook until a fork is readily able to pierce your pumpkin. Then, flip it so the top is also cooked thoroughly. (This is the only tricky part of this process. You might ask someone to hold the pot in place while you turn over the pumpkin.) This won’t take long.

Once the pumpkin is cooked, pour off the water. Then simply cut it across twice. [Please excuse this slightly out of focus pic! I promise to replace next time I make this, which will be soon!] Let it cool.

Once the pumpkin is cool, peel off the skin, which you will discover is very intact and readily peels off. It’s not like what you are expecting. And recycle the seeds. This is what you will have. Look at this color!! I think this is Food at Its Best. It just screams I Am So Good For You! And it is utterly delicious.

Then put the flesh in batches into your food processer and puree. Look at this rich spun gold! I’m rather astounded this is the color of what emerges inside a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin. But that’s what you get! #LOVE

Now. What I do is measure out the puree into portions of 2 cups and freeze what I’m not going to yet use. I feel fantastic knowing I have this on hand in my freezer for winter, for soups and pies and breads. I set aside two cups for my easy soup recipe.

I don’t know about you, but I am so busy that finding time to cook is a bit of an effort sometimes. I really like having certain things prepared and on hand at any given moment. On that list are fresh scones in the freezer, cold green tea, rice for the doggies, some form of salad all made up (e.g., cole slaw or grated dressed beets) and, hopefully, at this time of year, a yummy soup. So this fits the bill.

I poured some olive oil in a heavy pan, and sauteed half an onion and two cloves of garlic I had processed beforehand in the Cuisinart. I made a point of cooking the onion slowly and thoroughly. Then I added two cups of free range chicken broth. (I cheated because this is an Easy Recipe and “easy” in this case means chicken broth from the health food store.) I let that heat up a bit, and then poured in the two cups of pumpkin puree. Like this.

I added salt and white pepper to taste. And then I added a cup of cream. And I served this delicious, simple, nutritious soup with sour dough bread and a glass of green tea. What a fantastic cold weather luncheon! This soup would also make a wonderful starter course for Thanksgiving or Christmas that would not require much time! I think I’d add a dollop of sour cream or perhaps some chopped parsley or scallions for the holidays before serving, wouldn’t you?

And I will store the balance of the soup knowing There Is Soup in the frig, a comforting thought. You know? Yes, you do. :)

Love and kitchen blessings,
Kathryn xoxoxo

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18 Responses to “Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Soup!”

  1. That looks delicious, mom! And, so easy! I’m convinced, and will make some soup before the rains arrive later this week. :-)

    Love you,
    Antonia

  2. Hi, Antonia! You’ll be glad! YUM! Love, Mom xoxo

  3. So very glad you discovered Long Island Cheese pumpkins. They are our favorite after the French red “Cinderella” pumpkins for everything. Did not find either this Fall at our Worthington Farmers market because I missed the best pumpkin weeks. Winter indoor market started last week so I went, heart in mouth, afraid that this year’s pies were going to be from cans of Libbey’s pumpkin but was able to find two stashes of New England Pie pumpkins. I don’t know these from personal use, they are small, takes about 2 to make 3 pies, but I wasn’t going to tempt fate so bought 9 of them to hopefully get us through the winter. I note that you don’t put ANY spices/seasonings in the pumpkin soup. I’ll have to try it that way. Pumpkin & sweet potatoes are almost perfect foods. Enjoy and stay warm. Hugs, Cousin Julie

  4. I am so glad you put in your method for steaming a pumpkin. I have one on my porch, along with another one that was my jack o lantern. The squirrels are eating the halloween pumpkin (easy to get their little heads in where the mouth is cut) and i want to save the other for various pumpkin things. I usually bake it – but steaming is a wonderful alternative! Thanks!

  5. Hi, Julie! Yes, finally got around to the Long Island Cheese pumpkins! Those are probably my two favorites, too–the Long Island Cheese and the Cinderellas. Both are so pretty, too! So glad you found the New England Pie pumpkins! I do have those among my stash and I do believe you will be quite satisfied with your yummy pies. :) As for seasonings in my soup–you are right. Not there yet. I think I wanted to first establish just a basic knowledge of the simplest version of pumpkin soup possible and then build on that. I just found a recipe for Long Island Cheese pumpkin soup that includes apples, and I know you do that, too. I’ll be trying that soon! Hugs! Kathryn xoxo

  6. Hi, Elyn, and welcome! Yes, it was a marvelous discovery for me, too! It eliminates all that knife stuff! :) Btw, I’m boiling more than steaming. Steaming would work, but would take a lot longer. These pumpkins float; they don’t sink, so it probably looks like steaming. :) I do make a point to get the water inside those two holes a bit so they are a bit further down in the water. Good to mention. Good luck! Kathryn xoxo

  7. KATRHYN:
    THIS IS FABO, I GREW UP ON LI. I AM ORDERING SOME SEEDS TO GIVE TO MY LOCAL FARMING BUDDIES, AND FORWARDED THIS POST TO MY L.I. FRIENDS. GOOD RESEARCH SISTA!
    .

  8. Hi, Lisa! This is a wonderful, generous idea! Thank you for sharing! Kathryn xoxo

  9. Thank you for your easy and delicious soup recipe…pumpkin is my favourite veg……so I’ll definitely be giving it a try!

    The only difference is that I’d bake the pumpkin whole and unpeeled in the oven first.

    Love your wonderful photos too!

  10. Hi, Brissiemaz, and welcome! Glad you like the sound of this recipe. Bet you will enjoy. And baking the pumpkin is certainly the most common way to cook, I do believe. Whatever works! Kathryn xoxo

  11. What a great way to get at your pumpkin meat. Makes the task much less daunting that most other meathods. Thanks!

  12. Welcome, sensiblegardening! Yes, so much easier! Glad you like it! Enjoy. Kathryn xoxo

  13. Reporting back in on the New England Pie pumpkins. Baked 4 of them and got 13 cups of pulp. that made 4 big pies with 4 cups left over to freeze for Christmas/Boxing Day dinner. They are NOT as wonderful as the Long Island Cheese or Cinderella pumpkins, but really OK. Since we use honey in the pie mix instead of brown sugar, I was able to combine dark honey with light summer honey for a less heavy flavor. We ended up baking the pies without crusts…you can only eat so many carbs and with 3 kinds of dressing and Yukon mashed potatoes, there is a limit, even at Thanksgiving. This worked out just fine, like a flatter souffle. We finished up the last one last night. so have 4 more cups of processed pulp and 5 smaller pumpkins left in my winter stash. Maybe soup next for Christmas dinner. Hugs, Cousin Julie

  14. Hi, Julie! Oh, good! Yes, I would agree. The Cinderellas are better, but New England Pie will do. :) I just tried another, called Valencia. Surprisingly sweet! I’ve frozen it for the doggies, who will appreciate this winter. :) Next time you do pie sans crust, maybe you could just make pudding in individual cups? Easier! Thanks for the update! Love, Kathryn xoxo

  15. Found a new version of the pumpkin/squash soups recipe. It was posted in the Columbus Dispatch by the food editor a few weeks ago. it’s the basic 1 chopped onion to 2 cups pumpkin puree to 1 quart chicken brooth but instead of using milk, half & half or almond milk to thicken, it uses white beans, one 15 oz can to this ratio. I’m using canned navy beans and will make it for Christmas dinner. You can spice/herb as you choose. I expect other beans would work as well, either canned or from scratch. Anyway, if I use canola oil for the onions, I have a lactate free version for Sue. Would also work in a Kosher kitchen. I’ll let you know what I think. Merry Christmas, promise a letter, cousin Julie

  16. Hi, Julie, Thank you so much for this variation idea! It sounds very yummy! Merry Christmas, dear! Love, Kathryn xoxo

  17. The pumpkin/bean soup was considered a success. I like a milk base better, but for my lactate challenged family members, this did the trick. They still had to take their medication for milk wth the Yule Log, but we did the whole rest of the dinner lactate free so it was only a minor challenge for them when it could have been difficult. Grated fresh ginger was a nice touch. Happy New Year.

  18. Happy New Year, Julie! Kathryn xoxo

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