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How to Prepare a Pumpkin for Cooking in Soup

Updated on November 7, 2012
It's very easy to prepare a pumpkin for cooking in soup.  It can also be used for many other things as well.
It's very easy to prepare a pumpkin for cooking in soup. It can also be used for many other things as well. | Source

Preparing Pumpkin for Making Soup


Pumpkin soup is a great fall favorite at this author's house. One of my favorites is a variation of Martha Stewart's roasted pumpkin and crimini mushroom soup.

You can also use the same technique you use for preparing pumpkin for soup with various kinds of squashes such as butternut.

Toasted pumpkin seeds make a great garnish for pumpkin soup. Soaking them in salt water for a few hours can help make them more palatable. Rinse them under running water in a strainer to easily separate the membranes from the seeds.

There are many different varieties of pumpkin so be creative in trying different kinds like white pumpkins.

Look for pie pumpkins for a delicious alternative to canned pumpkin. It's a little more hassle peeling and cutting up pumpkin but the benefits are worth it in terms of flavor.

Watch my video below for a detailed visual presentation on how to prepare pumpkin for using in soup.

How To Cut a Pumpkin Up for Soup

STEP 1: Get a pumpkin. Wash and dry it.

Start with a pumpkin.  For variety try a white pumpkin.
Start with a pumpkin. For variety try a white pumpkin. | Source

STEP 2: Dampen a bar towel or dish towel and place on cutting board. This is to hold the pumpkin in place and prevent it from rolling around while trying to cut it increasing the risk of cutting yourself.

Place a dampened bar towel or dish towel on cutting board to prevent pumpkin from slipping.
Place a dampened bar towel or dish towel on cutting board to prevent pumpkin from slipping. | Source

STEP 3: Using a sharp knife, with the pumpkin lying on its side, cut the top off the pumpkin.

Cut the top off the pumpkin using a sharp knife.
Cut the top off the pumpkin using a sharp knife. | Source

STEP 4: Cut the bottom off the pumpkin in the same manner.

Cut the bottom off.
Cut the bottom off. | Source

This helps the pumpkin sit flat on the cutting board.

Pumpkin will now sit flat on cutting board.
Pumpkin will now sit flat on cutting board. | Source

STEP 5: Using a sharp knife, with a downward cutting motion, cut the peel from the pumpkin.

Using a sharp knife, remove peel from pumpkin.
Using a sharp knife, remove peel from pumpkin. | Source

You can also use a vegetable peeler but it is sometimes harder and more tedious because of the grooves and bumps in the pumpkin skin.

You can also use a vegetable peeler.
You can also use a vegetable peeler. | Source

The finished peeled pumpkin will have no remaining skin on it.

Finished pumpkin will have no remaining skin.
Finished pumpkin will have no remaining skin. | Source

STEP 6: Using a large knife, cut the pumpkin in half.

Cut pumpkin in half using a sharp knife.
Cut pumpkin in half using a sharp knife. | Source

STEP 7: Using a zester or a spoon (grapefruit spoons work great too), scrape out the insides of the pumpkin.

Scoop out seeds and membrane with a zester or a spoon.
Scoop out seeds and membrane with a zester or a spoon. | Source

Be sure and save the seeds for toasting. Place in a strainer and under running water, separate the seeds from the membranes.

Be sure and save the seeds for toasting after rinsing in running water to remove membrane.
Be sure and save the seeds for toasting after rinsing in running water to remove membrane. | Source

STEP 8: Working with 1/4 of the pumpkin at a time, cut the pumpkin into strips.

Working with 1/4 of pumpkin at a time, cut into strips.
Working with 1/4 of pumpkin at a time, cut into strips. | Source

STEP 9: Cut the strips into chunks. Depending on the size of the pumpkin, measure in dry cup measure for amount recipe requires. This pumpkin ended up yielding about 8-12 cups of pumpkin.

Cut into chunks and use according to recipe for soup.
Cut into chunks and use according to recipe for soup. | Source

What You Can Make with Fresh Pumpkin


Don't forget to try roasting it. You can shake it in a freezer bag with a little bit of oil and seasons, toss with things like crimini mushrooms and roast for a delicious way to start your soup--or just have as a side vegetable.

You can bake, poach or steam pumpkin until fork tender and then mash and use in soups, stews, pies, muffins and more.

Basically anything you can use squash in, you can substitute pumpkin.

Anything you find a recipe for with canned pumpkin can be substituted for with real cooked pumpkin. Use an immersion blender or masher to get it to be smooth.

Pumpkin is a great vegetable packed full of nutrition. It also freezes well as puree or in chunks.

After roasting with crimini mushrooms and shallots, the pumpkin is easily mashed.
After roasting with crimini mushrooms and shallots, the pumpkin is easily mashed. | Source
A great first course or lunch or dinner meal--try crimini mushroom & pumpkin soup.
A great first course or lunch or dinner meal--try crimini mushroom & pumpkin soup. | Source

Comments

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    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      5 years ago from Washington

      Thanks Random~

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks for this comprehensive tutorial! What a great resource.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      5 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, Virginia for stopping by and for the great idea--that sounds yummy for sure!!! I love squashes as well but pumpkin has always been a favorite at our house. I usually bake a pie pumpkin for Thanksgiving and use it to make fresh pumpkin pie---I think the flavor is just outstanding and can't wait for later this month already~

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 

      5 years ago from United States

      Oh yum! I absolutely love any kind of squash. You've done a great job of showing how to cut it up too. Terrific pictures. I haven't thought to cut off the bottom before. Years ago, I had a friend teach me how to make pickled pumpkin--it was sweet, not vinegary and absolutely delicious. I may have to use your hub pictures to try that again. I will certainly make this yummy soup!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      5 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, Pras--nice to see you! I'm glad it is understandable~

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very informative hub, Audrey. I love your step by step instructions by using pictures. I really understand after reading this hub. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!

      Best wishes, Prasetio

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