Monday, November 19, 2012

My Favorite Flavor of Fall

I'd like to start with a tasty post: a deceivingly easy meal with DIY bowls and no dirty dishes. Pumpkin is the shining star of fall (and one of my favorite flavors in general), so I'll be dedicating a few posts to cooking with it.

My husband and I don't stick to much of a schedule, so eating dinner at 9 p.m. was no problem for us last Wednesday. However, I would recommend doing a bit of prep the night before or saving it for a lazy weekend if you don't want to make it a late meal.

Here's the end result:

Recipe and photos after the jump!

  • 2 pumpkin pie pumpkins, hollowed out and seeded
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 2 medium boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups cubed squash (this could be pumpkin, acorn or butternut - I used pre-cubed organic butternut squash I found at Costco) 
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 8 cups chicken stock (I used low sodium - it turned out deliciously)
  • 5-6 peppercorns
  • garlic to taste (I used about 2 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon parsley


1. Bring chicken stock, chicken breasts, cubed pumpkin, onion, garlic and peppercorns to a boil in a stock pot. Reduce heat, simmer for 20 minutes. Depending on how chunky you want the end product to be, remove about half of the cubed squash and set it aside. Continue to simmer the soup for another 20 minutes. This will blend the flavors and also cook the chicken.
2. While this simmers, it's a great time to preheat the over to 350 and begin prepping your pumpkin bowls. Place them on a cookie sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken breasts from the soup. Ensure that they are cooking thoroughly. Using two forks, shred the chicken and set aside with the reserved chunks of pumpkin.
4. Stir the canned pumpkin into the soup and remove the soup from heat.
5. Using and emulsion blender (or a food processor or regular blender) puree the soup. You may need to do this a few cups at a time depending on your blender.
5. Return the soup to heat. Add the reserved pumpkin cubes, add the shredded chicken, and sprinkle in a bit of parsley.
6. Ladle the soup into the roasted pumpkin tureens and enjoy!

Thank you, Costco, for pre-cubed acorn squash.

Prepping the serving pumpkins

Don't mind my husband's dusty pants - he was working on our bedroom closet demo project... a whole other story. 
I really loved this soup, so did my husband. I adapted it from this recipe  originating from the one and only Martha Stewart. I'd love to serve this for a dinner party and instead of individual pumpkin soup bowls, place all the soup in one large pumpkin and have everyone help themselves (to ladle it into their standard ceramic bowls -- let's avoid pumpkin overkill... if there is such a thing.)  

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