It’s pumpkin time once again, and the stores are brimming with all colors, sizes and shapes. It’s easy to forget that pumpkins are more than an ornament to set on a table or porch, and that during these few weeks leading up to Halloween and Thanksgiving we can buy all sorts of exotic pumpkins to eat. Several years ago, I wrote a postabout the fairytale pumpkin, or Musquée de Provence—a French pumpkin that is delicious—bright orange, sweet and flavorful, and fabulous in sweet as well as savory recipes.
There is a lot of food in a fairytale pumpkin so it can be a little overwhelming to know what to do with all of that pumpkin. If you aren’t cooking for a crowd, you can freeze the flesh either raw or cooked for up to 6 months so you can have plenty on hand for all of your favorite pumpkin recipes.
I love squash soup and have shared several recipes here. But on Saturday my mom gave me a copy of her Heirloom Gardener Magazine with a recipe for African Peanut Soup, originally from The Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook, and it sounded so delicious that I thought it would be a perfect time to cut open another Musquée de Provence. The pumpkin was perfect for this recipe as it is sweet and creamy. I haven’t tried making it with sweet potatoes but I can’t imagine it could be better. Larry and I devoured our soup, oohing and awing the whole time. It is unbelievably delicious, and after we were done, Larry rated it 12 stars out of 10. (And with a salad and a slice of bread, it made for a very filling and satisfying meal.)
I will freeze enough of my fairytale pumpkin to make a big pot of this soup for Thanksgiving, as I will definitely serve everyone a cup of it for a first course this year.
African Peanut Soup
(from Emilee Gettle’s The Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook)
2 T coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb (2 ½ cups) Beauregard sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or pumpkin (preferably fairytale)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon minced ginger
½ teaspoon chili flakes
4 cups vegetable stock
1 (14.5-ounce0 can diced tomatoes in juice
¾ cup creamy natural-style peanut butter (unsalted)
1 t salt (may not need if your broth has salt in it)
¼ cup chopped toasted peanuts
Chopped cilantro leaves
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sweet potatoes or squash and cook until onions are translucent and sweet potatoes or squash begins to soften, 5-6 minutes.
Note: For anyone allergic to peanuts, you could substitute tahini (and a little cumin) for the peanut butter and, although it wouldn’t have the same flavor, I am sure it would also be delicious!