Makes 4 servings.
Whimsical little pumpkins filled with a cream soup make a perfect starter on Thanksgiving.
4 mini-pumpkins or Carnival, Sweet Dumpling,
or Acorn squashes (3/4 to 1-1/4 pounds each)
1 slice bacon, diced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup corn kernels
3/4 cup milk
Flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)
With a small sharp knife, cut wide tops out of the pumpkins to make bowl-shaped shells. Scrape out and discard seeds and stringy pulp. Trim all but 1/4 inch of meat from tops. Using a knife and soup spoon, cut and scrape out some of the pumpkin meat, leaving a 3/8-inch-thick shell. Shells should have about a 3/4-cup capacity.) Chop the pumpkin meat and set aside.
Place the bacon in a 2-quart microwave-safe dish. Microwave at "high" (100%) for 1 minute and 45 seconds to 2 minutes, or until crisp, stirring twice. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onion and chopped pumpkin meat to the dish. Cover with the lid or vented heavy-duty plastic wrap and microwave at "high" for 2 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the flour and chili powder, then the chicken broth. Microwave, covered, at "high" for 5 minutes, or until the pumpkin is very soft. Meanwhile, pour boiling water into the pumpkin shells to warm them. Mash the pumpkin mixture with a fork to a coarse pureé. Add the corn and milk. Microwave at "high" for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.
Sauté the bacon in a saucepan for 3 minutes, or until crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onion and chopped pumpkin meat to the saucepan. Sauté over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and chili powder, then the chicken broth. Cook for 5 minutes more, or until the pumpkin is very soft. Meanwhile, pour boiling water into the pumpkin shells to warm them. Mash the pumpkin mixture with a fork to a coarse pureé. Add the corn and milk. Continue to cook until thoroughly heated.
Empty and dry the pumpkin shells. Fill with the chowder. Sprinkle the bacon on top and garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve at once.
Zucchini, Pumpkins & Squash
By Kathleen Desmond Stang
Illustrated by Diane Varney
Full-color illustrations throughout
Reprinted by permission.
This page created October 1998
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