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Pumpkin Recipes for a Cozy Autumn Evening or a Happy Thanksgiving Day

Updated on November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving side dishes are among the various ways your family can enjoy pumpkin this fall and winter. Delicious and easy pumpkin recipes go well beyond the wonderful pies and soups that have become familiar fare.

Use canned pumpkin or cook your own; try different varieties for changes in flavor and texture. While some cooks feel the jack-o'-lantern pumpkin is watery and tastes quite mild (or even bland), it does offer the advantage of being readily available. You may want to grow your own pumpkins next year so that you can test out shadings of flavor and texture in other varieties.

But for now, by all means, check to see if your local grocer, roadside stand, farmer's market, or garden store has some edible pumpkin varieties that you haven't experienced yet. Mmmmmm.......

Pumpkin Soup Photo, licensed under Creative Commons License 2.0
Pumpkin Soup Photo, licensed under Creative Commons License 2.0 | Source

Pumpkin Bisque

This Pumpkin Bisque is a rich, savory, thick cream soup that will warm you through and through. Serve as a first course on Thanksgiving Day or as a light supper on a brisk autumn evening with a warm loaf of sourdough bread.

In large cooking pot, melt

2 Tbsp. butter


½ c. chopped onion

2 Tbsp. snipped celery leaves

and cook until onion is tender. Then stir in

2 1-lb. cans of pumpkin

(OR 4 c. home-cooked, well-drained pumpkin pulp)

2 c. chicken broth

2 c. half-and-half

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 ½ tsp. salt – or less, to taste

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

1/8 tsp. ground mace

4 whole cloves

½ c. snipped parsley (or dried parsley flakes)

Stir constantly until soup begins to boil, then turn heat to simmer and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove the cloves and pour soup into a serving dish that can be kept warm. Individual servings may be topped with unsweetened whipped cream or sour cream and sprinkled with more snipped parsley, as desired.

Root Vegetables Photo, licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0
Root Vegetables Photo, licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0 | Source

Autumn Vegetable Medley

2 c. thick-sliced carrots (about 4 medium)

2 c. thick-sliced parsnips (about 2 medium)

6 baby beets, peeled, washed, cut in half

1 Tbsp. snipped fresh parsley

¼ tsp. dried herbs: marjoram, thyme, rosemary

(or 1 tsp. fresh, snipped)

1/8 tsp. salt

1 ½ Tbsp. cooking oil

2 c. seeded, peeled, cubed (1 ½-inch) pumpkin

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Parboil carrots and parsnips for a few minutes, then drain. Heat oven to 375°. Stir parboiled vegetables and beets in baking pan, then sprinkle with herbs and salt. Drizzle with oil and toss gently.

Cover the pan and bake for 30 min. (stir once, halfway through). Add and stir in the pumpkin pieces, cover again and return to oven for about 20 more minutes.

Remove from oven and raise oven heat to 450°. Stir brown sugar into vegetables thoroughly, then return to oven (uncovered this time) for about 15-20 minutes more.

Croquettes Photo, licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0
Croquettes Photo, licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0 | Source

Pumpkin Croquettes

Mix well together:

1 lb. cooked pumpkin

½ medium onion, chopped fine

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

1 tsp. salt

½ Tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. black pepper

½ c. cornbread crumbs (not sweet-style!)

1 c. white bread crumbs

When thoroughly mixed, form into croquettes (if needed, add a little more of the bread crumbs to make them mold well) and roll in additional bread crumbs. Lower gently, a few at a time, into hot oil or fat to deep fry until brown, turning as needed for even browning. When done, drip-drain, then place on paper towels for additional draining.

Pumpkin Cake Loaves Photo, licensed under Creative Commons License 2.0
Pumpkin Cake Loaves Photo, licensed under Creative Commons License 2.0 | Source

Pumpkin Fruit Cake

Mix well in a large bowl (for two minutes on medium speed):

1 c. (white) sugar

1 c. (packed) light brown sugar

¾ c. shortening

2 large eggs

In a separate bowl, mix together:

2 ½ c. flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

¼ tsp. salt

Alternately add the above mixed dry ingredients and

1 15-oz. can pumpkin

into the egg-shortening mixture.Beat gently to incorporate each addition into the mixture. Stir in by hand:

1 c. raisins

1 c. chopped nuts

1 c. diced maraschino cherries

Pour into a greased and floured (or sugared) tube pan or two small loaf pans; bake at 350° for approximately 1 hour (test for doneness with a toothpick or sharp knife). Cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan(s), and allow to cool completely. May be glazed before cutting and serving.


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