I came to a realization yesterday: Nearly every food I’ve eaten for the past two or so weeks has contained either pumpkin or squash. I’m not ashamed that I’ve gone off the deep end — ’tis the season, right? Another thing I realized though, is that so many of these seasonal recipes are so full of butter and cheese and sugar — all goodness, of course, but not exactly ideal for weeknight dinners. So I cooked up this delicious — and healthy — round of gumbo, which went oh so perfectly with the most delicious bread stolen from Jessica of How Sweet It Is. (I’m not going to lie though: I also made pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sauce this weekend… but you can’t win ’em all.)
Vegetarian Pumpkin Gumbo
1 pie pumpkin (small to medium size), washed and cut into chunks
5 carrots, cut into coins
3 stalks of celery, cut into small chunks
1 cup fresh kale, washed and roughly chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 box low-sodium veggie broth
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder (temper spiciness according to your taste preferences)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay out pumpkin and toss with olive oil and sea salt. Roast for one hour, stirring and repositioning at around 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Heat a little bit of olive oil in a large soup pot over low heat. Add chopped onions and garlic into the oil, sautéing for two to three minutes. Add in carrots, celery, and kale, and sauté for two minutes. Add stock into pan as well as approximately three cups of water. Turn the heat up to medium. Add chunks of pumpkin (skin can go in too), and spices. Reduce heat slightly and cover pot. Simmer for approximately one hour. Pair with freshly buttered bread and enjoy!
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice English Muffin Bread (adapted from How Sweet It Is, I halved the original recipe to produce one loaf instead of two)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup pureed pumpkin
1 cup warm milk, 120-130 degrees
1/4 cup warm water, 120-130 degrees
cornmeal for loaf pans
Grease a loaf pan and sprinkle with cornmeal, shuffling the pan around until cornmeal coats all the sides — dump the excess.
In the bowl of your mixer (fitted with the beater attachment), combine whole wheat flour, yeast, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda. Add in milk, pumpkin, honey, olive oil, and water, beating on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-high for three minutes, scraping down the sides if necessary. Decrease speed and add in remaining flour and salt, mixing until just combined — do not overmix (dough will be sticky). Put dough in loaf pan and sprinkle with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes. While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake loaves for 35 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately remove from pan, and allow to cool before eating.