Monday, September 23, 2013

Epic Pumpkin Bowl FAIL! Plus A Cauldron Of Vegan Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Fall is officially here! The food blogs are filled with a deluge of frothy pumpkin latte recipes, a side of pumpkin muffins, and a beautiful photo of stacked pumpkin spiced cookies. So pretty, and I can smell it all now... yes, it's smelly good! Although back at the bat cave we were summoning a misty mellow Halloween evening when we experienced... "Attack of the Killer Pumpkin!" Bad pumpkin! Bad pumpkin! It happened during my first fall season while learning about whole foods. Excitedly I attempted to create a pair of those very cool carved pumpkin bowls in which to serve up my pumpkin black bean soup. Things did not go well in the Painting Queen's kitchen on that dark and gloomy evening, it was ...(cue the voice of Vincent Price) EPIC FAIL! Let's enjoy the holiday madness shall we.... !?!!@!%&!

I carved the first little pumpkin's top off in a flash! No problem-o! Carving jack-o-lantern pumpkins for outside home decor like most people, I figured this second little pumpkin was no biggie to tackle either. My thick sharp knife went securely into the second pumpkin, and immediately was stuck! I pulled... I yanked. No response from the knife. Was this the sword in the stone, or what? Hmmm.

I am not messing around with this little orange terror! I got a hammer! Don't under estimate the Queen!

In order to get the knife to move I had to slam a hammer against the handle. Took 47 minutes to open!

Inside of this pumpkin looked like ewwww! Something was not right. The skin of the pumpkin was like a hard crust. You can see how thick and gnarly it looks. Not very appetizing huh? Then it hit me, duh! I had me a regular decor pumpkin. Not a pumpkin pie pumpkin! Oh Geez! Hubby, please run out to the store! Soup is on the stove, and my cauldron is bubbling! One rock pumpkin headed to wicked front step duty!

Compare how the decor pumpkin looks very much like the pie pumpkin from the outside. The difference is in the meat and the much thinner skin on the pumpkin pie pumpkin. Should only take minutes to slice off the top. You can see how much cleaner the cut looks too! Yes, sweet hubby went out and got us a proper pie pumpkin, for our individual Halloween soup bowls. The new pumpkin was tiny although it worked in a pinch. Don't forget to eat the insides of your semi-edible bowl while you enjoy the soup! 

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup

4 stalks chopped Celery 
2 chopped Onions
3 chopped Carrots 
1 - 2 cloves of minced garlic
4 - 6 Organic red french fingerling potatoes cut into chunks
1 box of organic vegetable broth
1 bottle spring water
1 can organic pumpkin (not pie mix)
1 can organic black beans rinsed
3/4 cup organic frozen corn
1 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Rosemary 
1/2 tsp Thyme

2 or more organic pie pumpkins (Sugar pie, Cinderella) for bowls and chunks
1 - 2 cups of organic chopped pie pumpkin

Start with chopping and gathering your organic ingredients. Prepare a mirepoix in your stock pot of celery, onion, and celery. Sweat veggies, turn, and add spices. Add the broth and the rest of your ingredients. Bring to boil then simmer soup on low for a few hours. Adjust for your spice preferences. If you are making pumpkin bowls for serving: Purchase pie pumpkins! Yikes! Be sure they are the correct kind! Should only take about 15 minutes or so to carve and scoop a small pumpkin. If you need a hammer... it's not fer' eating!

Simply cut the top off to use as a lid, and scrape out the inside seed and fiber area. You can sprinkle the inside with some nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice. Wet the stem of lid and cover with foil. Place pumpkins and lids on cookie sheet or roasting pan in 400 degree oven for 20 - 35 minutes till tender. Time will depend on size of your pumpkin. Place carefully on serving dish and ladle in your finished soup. You can cover bowl with handy dandy matching stemmed lid to keep warm till serving time. Don't forget to scrape out the pumpkin meat from the pumpkin as you eat! Yum! Bonus food fun!

Well that was quite a 'food horror story' my sweet little pumpkins, and that seasonal Fall soup is really smelling good in the castle tonight! Yo Vincent! Get over here, it's time to feast!

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