It’s rare that I cook with pumpkin. Really rare. Like, once a year… maybe. For a while, we kept canned pumpkin puree around and I would use it to make a quick soup or these brownies, but for whatever reason, we stopped purchasing it. The one time I cooked with fresh pumpkin, it was kind of a process. I roasted the flesh and blended it with vanilla and spices and whipped up what would turn out to be some of the best pancakes I’ve ever consumed. Did I follow a recipe? No. Do I remember what I did? Nope. And I have yet to attempt recreating it.
So, that was the last time I cooked with pumpkin… that is until a few weeks ago when one came in a box from Blue Apron. For those unfamiliar with the company, Blue Apron is a service where people can have fresh ingredients and recipes delivered to their homes. Printed on the recipe cards are step-by-step instructions that include color photographs. I never promote a business without trying out the product first, so I asked to have a box sent to me. Let’s just say that I was impressed.
One of my fears was that everything would come pre-chopped and that all I’d have to do is throw it in a pan and I’d have a meal in 15 minutes. What does that teach anyone about cooking? I was thrilled to find that while ingredients came pre-portioned, there was quite a bit of work that was required. The recipe Blue Apron provided in the shipment, a pumpkin veggie potage, required that I roasted the pumpkin and seeds, toast the farro, chop the onions and garlic, and let it all stew in a pot for a period of time.
The potage is one of many vegetarian recipes Blue Apron has in their database and it’s the ideal meal for a cold fall day. The recipe, which can be found here, includes a “New World Spice Blend” which contains garlic, basil, onion, marjoram, thyme, fennel, turmeric, and cinnamon. The “veggie base” is Better Than Bouillon brand, but it was suggested that veggie broth would work as a substitute (my recommendation is to not use a low-sodium broth as this is main supply of salt in the dish).