University of Illinois Extension
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Pumpkin Soup Tureen

(or Pumpkin Soup Served in a Pumpkin Shell)

Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater
Had a wife and couldn't keep her.
He put her in a pumpkin shell
And there he kept her very well

Was Peter looking for a way to use that gorgeous pumpkin shell? Except for decorated Jack-o-lantern, there have been very few suggested uses of the pumpkin shell down through the ages.

However, the hollow shell makes a picturesque and elegant soup tureen. A large pumpkin shell can hold enough soup for a family gathering or dinner parties while small pumpkin shells are just right for individual servings.

Preparing the pumpkin shell:

  1. Select a squat pumpkin rather than one that is upright for balance. Field pumpkins used for jack-o-lanterns do not work well. The Cinderella variety or Rouge Vif d'Etampes, as well as many others has the ideal bowl shape. For more information on pumpkin varieties, visit our website Watch Your Garden Grow-Pumpkin.
  2. Start by washing the pumpkin in warm soapy water rinse well and dry.
  3. Using a sharp knife, insert the tip about 1/3 of the way down, and cut away the top to form a lid. Scoop out the seeds (reserve for roasting) and stringy mass.
  4. Lightly oil the pumpkin inside and out and sprinkle the inside with salt.
  5. Place the pumpkin and lid on a parchment lined baking sheet or spray with an oil cooking spray. Bake a 325°F for 1 to 1-1/2 hours depending on the size of the shell.
  6. This is the tricky part. An over baked shell will not support the weight of the soup so under-baking is preferred. Bake the pumpkin shell until it begins to soften.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool.
  8. Gently scoop out some of the soft pumpkin from the wall, being careful not to puncture the shell. Scrape the cooked pumpkin from the lid as well. Use this cooked portion for the pumpkin soup recipe that follows or freeze it for later use.
  9. Ladle hot soup into the pumpkin and serve. The lid can be used as a cover or you can serve the soup uncovered.