I don’t eat soup. I know it’s strange, especially in these chill winter months, but I just can’t do it. I have a serious psychological aversion to the idea of drinking food. When I eat yogurt, it has to be the extra-custardy kind that holds its shape when scooped. Soup is simply out of the question. So don’t listen to Mr. B over there calling this tasty dish by the abominable name of “cheesy pumpkin soup.” He’s dreadfully misinformed.
It’s called “individual roast pumpkins stuffed with Gruyère.” See? That doesn’t sound anything like soup.
Mr. B slurps his out of a soup spoon just to annoy me.
Honestly, the recipe couldn’t be simpler. You just gut a pumpkin, fill it with cheese and cream and wine, and roast it. Scoop the flesh and filling onto some toasted French bread rounds, and you’re set for dinner. I like to use the tiny individual-sized pumpkins for this, but you can use a 3- or 4-pounder to feed about four people. It’s more fun to have your own, though.
Ingredients (serves 2, but make as many as you need)
2 fist-sized pumpkins (about the size of a salt owl)
4 ounces Gruyère or other good melting cheese
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic
a pinch of nutmeg for each pumpkin
salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F, then decapitate the pumpkins. You don’t want to make a horizontal cut, because that will damage the structural integrity of the pumpkin and it will collapse into a cheesy pumpkin pancake while roasting instead of holding its shape. I made octagonal vertical cuts with a paring knife.
Scoop out the seeds and gooey threads that hold the seeds together.
Place a peeled clove of garlic in the bottom of each pumpkin. Stuff the pumpkins with Gruyère. It’s worth noting at this point that overfilling them will lead to cheese escaping due to thermal expansion while they roast, making a big darn mess in the oven, but you probably aren’t any more likely to stop adding cheese because of that than I was (more cheese is always better, right?), so just remember to put the pumpkins in a roasting pan with raised sides to catch the spill.
Pour a couple of tablespoons of cream into each pumpkin.
Then two tablespoons per pumpkin of wine.
Grate on the nutmeg and toss in a pinch of salt. Stick the lids back on the pumpkins. Bake them at 350°F for 45 minutes to an hour.
Turns out there is such a thing as too much cheese, and it makes a big mess. A tasty mess, but still.
Leave the lids on until you’re ready to serve. There’s something incredibly satisfying about taking the lid off just as you’re ready to dig in and have the contents still steaming hot.
The taste is very similar to fondue, which makes sense because the filling is pretty much fondue. Scoop a mixture of pumpkin flesh and cheesy filling onto a slice of toasted French bread and prepare to swoon.
Full disclosure here: That steamy delicious one? I ate it. I had to get Mr. B’s pumpkin to take the rest of the pictures. I just could not wait another two minutes. These are that tasty.
Just be very clear when you have these, just because you eat them with toasty bread and a spoon, they aren’t soup. Corvids don’t eat soup.