Simple, Healthy, Delicious: Pumpkins

Simple, Healthy, Delicious: Pumpkins

They’re not just for decoration! Pumpkins make delicious soups, breads, curries and more. Here are a few ideas to get you going:

Pumpkin Soup with Cinnamon Crème Fraîche

In most pumpkin soups recipes the pumpkin is first roasted, but in this version, it is softened on the stove-top for a quicker solution. The combination of pumpkin with sautéed mushrooms and cinnamon cream is exquisite. Serves 6. Recipe developed by Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering in San Carlos.


  • 3 tablespoons fresh press extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh sugar pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ pound chanterelle mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
  • ½ cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • kosher salt and white pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the pumpkin and onions, sauté on low heat until the pumpkin is softened, about 5 minutes. Pour in 1 cup of the stock and continue cooking until the pumpkin is very soft, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly then puree with hand held blender or in a food processor. Set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet. Add the mushrooms and shallots and cook until they are soft and all liquid has evaporated, 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of the butter and the parsley. Season and keep warm.

Combine the pumpkin puree and the remaining 1 cup stock in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir in the remaining 5 tablespoons butter, the whipped cream and reserved mushroom mixture. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

In a bowl, whisk the crème fraîche and cinnamon.

To serve: pour soup into bowls and swirl the cinnamon crème fraîche into the hot soup.

Photos by Luisa Ormonde.

Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Once you have fresh pumpkin puree, the possibilities are endless. Make pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin soup, or simply strain out excess liquid, mix in butter, salt and a little pepper and serve as a substitute to mashed potatoes!

What you need:

  • 1 fresh sugar pie pumpkin
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions: cut the top from the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and stringy membranes. You can reserve the seeds to toast later, if desired. (See recipe below.)

Slice pumpkin into wedges, at least 6, and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Lightly brush the edges of the pumpkin wedges with a little olive oil.

Roast at 350F for about 45-60 minutes, until pumpkin is soft. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Remove pumpkin pulp from the skin, discarding the skin, and place the pulp in a blender. Puree until the pumpkin is a smooth consistency. Use as desired. Stores in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are fun to eat after a night of carving Jack O’Lanterns. Plus, you can flavor them as you wish!

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 300° F.
  2. Scoop seeds out of your pumpkin and rinse them under cold water to remove the stringy pulp. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with a few teaspoons of melted butter or Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  4. Add in a few shakes of any seasoning you wish, such as garlic, salt, cayenne, Cajun seasoning, etc. and stir to coat evenly. any seasoning
  5. Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on baking sheet and put in a 300F oven.
  6. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

Pumpkin Curry

Not all curries have to be spicy: the pumpkin gives this curry a sweet layer of flavor and a nice orange color. Serves ~4.


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 cups (about 3-4 potatoes) white potatoes, unpeeled & chopped
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 TBL curry powder
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed (about 2-3 cups, about half a sugar pie pumpkin)
  • 1 cup pre-soaked or canned garbanzo beans
  • 3 cups greens (such as bok choy, kale, escarole or spinach), tough stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced vegetables (your choice: carrots, peas, green or red chilies, zucchini or other. You can also use a combination.)
  • ¾ of 1 can (about 10 oz total ) coconut milk
  • 1 cup water or chicken broth*
  • Salt, to taste

Serve over: Basmati or Jasmine rice, cooked, for 4 people.

In a medium sauce pan, bring water to a boil and add chopped potatoes, cooking until just soft, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

While potatoes are cooking, heat oil in a skillet and add sliced chicken and sauté until cooked through. Remove and set aside.

Next, heat about 2 TBL olive oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add curry powder and heat until fragrant. Then stir in ginger, sauté for 1 minute, and then stir in onions and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Stir in cubed pumpkin, greens, garbanzo beans, cooked potatoes and vegetables of choice. Sauté for about 3-5 minutes. Pour in coconut milk and bring mixture to a boil. Cover and simmer until pumpkin is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Stir in cooked chicken after the curry has cooked about 10 minutes.

*You may need to add some water or chicken broth (about 1/4 – 1/2 cup at a time) along the way, depending on how large the pumpkin cubes are, to keep them from drying out.

Once pumpkin is tender and sauce has thickened, remove from heat, add salt to taste, and serve over cooked rice.

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