Read The Laughing Chef's bio and previous columns


November 6, 2008

Swimming in an Ocean of Pumpkin Soup


Halloween has passed, and you notice that sitting in the corner is a pair of pumpkins. Your opportunity to gore and deface them in the name of holiday fun is gone, and now you wonder whether the future of these squash is one of a slow, grim rotting.


You may perhaps construct a reason the pumpkins themselves have been consigned to this grim destiny by their own actions and words. You may declare that all suffer slow decay as a result of their own ill deeds and words, and wash your hands of the matter.


Or, you may seek compassion toward giving them a dignified end as a pot of soup.


The first thing you shall do is to chop off the top of the pumpkin and spoon out the seeds and stringy materials in the center. Then bake at 375 until very soft and limp. The skins should come away from the pulp very easily, almost as if there is a mutual desire to part.


The relationship here is as the relationship between a caterpillar and a chrysalis in which it changes into a butterfly. It has transcended the need for its tough outer shell and is now ready for something better.


Spoon it into the bowl part of a food processor.


Add to that a generous helping of vanilla yogurt, honey and milk, and blend together in the processor until smooth.


The appearance will be uniformly orange. It will look, in fact, like a creamsicle that has not yet been bitten.


Pour this into a soup pot. It will look like an ocean of pumpkin. Allow your imagination to run wild for a moment. Pretend, for instance, that you are standing on a planet that has oceans entirely of mushed pumpkins mixed with milk, yogurt and honey. Think to yourself this word: “Whoa.” Return to Mother Earth, where such things are silliness and mushed pumpkins mixed with yogurt, milk and honey are not oceans but instead soup.


Toss several cinnamon sticks into the pot, or a generous helping of ground cinnamon. Stir and heat for about an hour. Stir often. 

Tilt the pot, and hold your ear to just above it. Legend has it that just as you can hear the ocean via a conch shell, you can hear a sea of pumpkin via tilted pot. It is either that, or the applause of millions of teeny, tiny hands clapping at your achievement. 

Marvel in it, but only for a moment. If you spend too much time with your ear to a pot of soup, your friends and loved ones will think you a lunatic. This is especially the case if you happen to think that applause is a reason to smile.


Break this one big ocean of pumpkin soup into smaller seas by spooning it into different bowls. Stir in some raisins and diced apple. Sprinkle ground nutmeg over the top.


It is an end so noble and dignified that you may consider altering your will.


© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


Click here to talk to our writers and editors about this column and others in our discussion forum.


To e-mail feedback about this column, click here. If you enjoy this writer's work, please contact your local newspapers editors and ask them to carry it.

This is Column #TLC109. Request permission to publish here.

Op-Ed Writers
Eric Baerren
Lucia de Vernai
Herman Cain
Dan Calabrese
Alan Hurwitz
Paul Ibrahim
David Karki
Llewellyn King
Gregory D. Lee
Nathaniel Shockey
Stephen Silver
Candace Talmadge
Jessica Vozel
Feature Writers
Mike Ball
Bob Batz
The Laughing Chef
David J. Pollay
Business Writers
Cindy Droog
D.F. Krause