Native Cooking: 3 Fall Comfort Recipes, from Pumpkin Soup to Pudding

iStock A fall comfort staple is pumpkin soup. Check out our recipe here.

When we grow our own vegetables, we cook and store enough of them to get us well into winter

One year we had a great crop of butternut squash that lasted into late March. That never happened again though, so whenever I look at a basket of corn or butternut I feel rich, then I remember I’m at a farmer’s market! Some years have been great, and we did all the work to turn these vegetables into meals. Even if you just freeze a few vegetables they can provide support for main dishes. A ton of tomatoes can become sauce or squash frozen in chunks become hearty side dishes.

Pumpkin Soup

3 pounds of pumpkin, cut into chunks

2 tablespoons butter

1 Vidalia onion, chopped

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 quart chicken broth, homemade or purchased

Melt butter and sauté the onion for two minutes, add curry and cumin. Use a soup pot and put pumpkin, sautéed onion, herbs, and broth on simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until pumpkin is soft and flavors blend. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note: To stretch this soup, add some cut up potatoes, white or sweet. To make it richer, add a quarter cup of cream (I know that is naughty, but it’s ok once in awhile).

iStock This fall saute starts with russet potatoes.

Fall Saute of Vegetables

2 cups russet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 cups winter squash, cut and cubed

1 cup carrot, cut into ½-inch pieces

1 cup onion, chopped

1 clove garlic

Put one inch of water in a large saucepan and simmer vegetables until soft. Drizzle about one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar over everything until vegetables start to brown. *At this point, you can either serve vegetables or add some cooked chicken until hot for a complete meal.

Pretty Pumpkin Pudding

Use a small to medium size pumpkin. Clean out the insides so you can bake the pudding in the shell. You might want to save and roast the seeds for a later treat. The pudding is pretty cooked like this and makes a nice presentation, but you can use a greased baking dish instead.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

6 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ cup raisins

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

3 eggs

1-1/4 cups of cooked, pureed pumpkin (canned ok)

1 tablespoon melted butter

¼ cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a small bowl put the raisins in a little milk to plump for 10 minutes. Drain and reserve the milk.

Use a large bowl to beat together the eggs, pumpkin, butter, milk, cream and lemon juice. Add dry ingredients and blend until smooth. Add raisins. Spoon this mixture into shell or 6×9 baking pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Let stand for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Dale Carson, Abenaki, is the author of three books: “New Native American Cooking,” “Native New England Cooking” and “A Dreamcatcher Book.” She has written about and demonstrated Native cooking techniques for more than 30 years. Dale has four grown children and lives with her husband in Madison, Connecticut.

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