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If your long weekend in the Okanagan Valley was like mine, then it was full of family, friends and tons of fall activities! Some favorites that topped the weekend were: McMillian Farms - Pumpkin Patch, the Corn Maze, and endless hours of eating with the people you love! One of my favorite recipes from the weekend was this amazing squash soup recipe and so I've decided to share it with you.  If you want to make use of your autumn pumpkin patch decor that you used on your thanksgiving table, then you have an opportunity this week to make them into soup bowls to complete the look of your soup! Check out my favorite fall recipe below and enjoy! 

Ingredients

  • 1 in large sugar or pie pumpkin cut half and seeds removed and reserved (plus 4 small ones if you are making the pumpkin bowls)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 small shallots chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk + 1 cup water or 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more or less to your liking
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Sage Pesto

  • 1 clove head garlic or you may sub 1 raw garlic
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh sage
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese if you do not like blue cheese sub feta or parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Fried Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • reserved pumpkin seeds from above
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • lots of salt to your tasting
 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut your pumpkin in half or into fourths and reserve the pumpkin seeds for later. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and rub the pumpkin with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves. Peel any excess paper/skin off from the bulb of garlic. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil on top the garlic cloves and cover with foil. Roast both the pumpkin and garlic together on the same baking sheet for 45 minutes, or until the pumpkin is fork tender and the garlic golden brown and soft. Remove from the oven and allow everything to cool five minutes. Squeeze garlic out of the paper skin into a small bowl and mash well with a fork, set aside.
  3. Grab the pumpkin and add it to a food processor (or mash extremely well) and puree with 1 cup of the chicken broth, puree until completely smooth.
  4. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the butter and shallots. Saute the the shallots until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and cook another 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin puree, remaining chicken, coconut milk, water, cayenne, nutmeg, maple syrup and crushed red pepper. Bring the soup to a low simmer and simmer 15-20 minutes.
  5. While the soup cooks make the pesto. Add the roasted garlic, parsley, sage and pistachios to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped and then stream in the olive oil. Add the cheese and pulse a few more time until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. To fry the pumpkin seeds. Add the reserved pumpkin seeds to a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon coconut milk and 1 tablespoon flour. In a small bowl combine the chipotle chili powder, pepper and brown sugar. Place a skillet on the stove top and set to medium heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the pumpkin seeds into the pan, but be careful! Stir the pumpkin seeds around in the skillet with a spoon or spatula continuously until they expand and start to brown. Once the seeds are browned remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel to drain. Toss with the chili powder and a good pinch of salt. Taste and season accordingly.
  7. To assemble the soup, ladle the soup into bowls (or your roasted pumpkins) and top each bowl with a dollop of pesto, a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and if desired drizzle with coconut milk. Start slurpin!
  8. To make the roasted pumpkin soup bowls. Remove the tops of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Rub the insides of the pumpkins with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes or just until soft to touch but not falling in.
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