Decorative pumpkin and sqashHalloween is over and if you did not carve a jack-o-lantern, there is a good chance you have a nice, ripe piece of fruit sitting somewhere in your house. Pumpkins make wonderful fall decorations, but they are more than just the big chunk in the cornucopia. They are much like a squash, and as such, they make delicious dishes. As long as your pumpkin is not too old (it should still be firm) and has not been sitting with its flesh exposed, you can cook it.

Pumpkin pie is the obvious seasonal treat, so instead of using canned pumpkin, cook the one you already bought. You may not need the whole thing, so here are a couple of ideas for what’s left.

Fresh pumpkin seeds from the ovenPumpkin Seeds:

You will need:

  • Seeds from one pumpkin
  • Sea salt (about a handful)
  • Seasoning
    • Cayenne pepper
    • Garlic
    • Onion
    • Madras curry
    • Whatever you like!



  1. Scooping out pumpkin seeds with an ice cream scoopScoop the seeds from a pumpkin set the pumpkin aside. An ice cream scoop works well for this.




  2. Rinse seeds under hot waterPull the seeds from the membrane and rinse in a colander under hot water until the seeds are white.




  3. Place the wet seeds into a medium-sized bowl and mix the sea salt in. Stir until all the salt dissolves to create a brine with the water still in the seeds from cleaning them.


  4. Divide the seeds for flavors. If you only want plain, salted seeds, skip to step four. Otherwise, put a small amount of seeds into a smaller bowl for each flavor. We made five: cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, madras curry, and plain. The amount of seasoning depends on the size of the flavor batch and on personal preference, but remember, you started with a brine, so they are already going to have salt.


    cayenne pepper:
    Season the seeds with your choice of spicessprinkle enough cayenne pepper over the top of the seeds to make a good layer, then stir.


    We used the garlic mix from a tube, so ours came out very salty, but delicious. Squeeze the garlic mix onto the wet seeds and mix well. This will create a paste on the seeds.


    For this we used dried onion from the spice rack. It turned out well, but the onion bits became a companion to the seeds more than a coating. But again, toss in a handful and stir with the wet seeds.


    madras curry:
    This is delicious! Add enough to coat the top of the seeds and stir. It should coat them well and turn the seeds a bit yellow.


  5. Spread the seeds on baking sheets and bake at 350 until dried out and crispy. This may take a while, but check them every five minutes and stir them around so all sides cook evenly. (You can make over a camp fire as well, you would just use a skillet, aluminum foil, or whatever cooking item you have handy.) When they are crisp, dry, and starting to brown, they are ready.


  6. Remove from oven and serve.


Try not to burn your fingers, but these are amazing warm out of the oven. Any flavor will do, so experiment and find your signature way to make these. Betty from Betty’s Kitchen has a video on how to make sweet pumpkin seeds that sound delicious.


Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin soup garnished with seeds
You will need:

  • One pumpkin
  • Water
  • Dried onion
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Garlic blend (from a tube)
  • Olive Oil
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Salt
  1. Remove the seeds and membrane from the pumpkin and either discard or use to roast pumpkin seeds.


  2. Steam the pumpkin to remove the skin. While you can do this by cutting your pumpkin in half and placing face down, you might not have a large enough steaming bowl. If this is the case, go ahead and cut your pumpkin into manageable chunks and place them into a microwave safe bowl with a lid, or a microwave steamer.


  3. Remove the pumpkin skin with a spoonSteam in the microwave for about 30 minutes, checking at 15 a 25 minutes. If the meat is soft and the skin pulls away easily, the pumpkin is ready.


  4. Remove the skin with a spoon and discard.


  5. Puree pumpkin in food processorPurée the pumpkin meat in a food processor or blender and set aside.




  6. In a soup pot, rehydrate the onion in vegetable broth over medium heat. Amounts will determine on the amount of soup you are making, but we find that adding a couple of extra shakes of onion to whatever we think we need turns out best.


  7. Add a turn of olive oil and let that warm for a minute or two.


  8. Sauteed seasoning for pumpkin soupAdd parsley, thyme and garlic to the onion and mix and saute until it makes a thin paste.




  9. Add the pureed pumpkin and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until all is well incorporated.


  10. Pumpkin SoupAdd vegetable broth one cup at a time to achieve desired thickness. Stir in each cup until well blended before adding the next. The final amount of broth will depend on the size of the pumpkin you cut. The thinner you want your soup, the more broth you will use.


  11. Add salt to taste.


  12. Ladle into bowls, top with roasted pumpkin seeds and serve.

As most pumpkin soups require half and half, cream, butter or milk, we experimented with this vegan version. We were happy with the result and look forward to hearing what you think.

As with any fruit or vegetable, make sure to use a fresh, ripe pumpkin for cooking. Any pumpkin variety will work, even those knotty, funky ones, so you can rotate them out to keep your decorations changing and have pumpkin dishes all season long.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.