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Pumpkin can be savory, sweet

There’s certainly no shame in loving pumpkin pie, but it may be time to branch out a little when it comes to using pumpkin for cooking.

I’m sharing a few recipes that use pumpkin in a different way than is typically seen this time of year. And, of course, I’ve thrown in a few traditional recipes.

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

1/2 c. warm milk (105 degrees)

1/2 c. honey, divided

2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

1/4 c. salted butter, melted

15 oz. can pureed pumpkin

1 large egg

1 1/2 tsp. salt

5 c. all-purpose flour (may need a little more)

Place the warm milk and 1 tsp. honey in a small bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Allow to bloom for about five minutes. Pour the milk and yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix on low until a shaggy dough begins to form. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed for about 15 minutes. Add more flour if the dough is wet, but the dough should be sticky and won’t release from the sides of the bowl. Scrape the dough into a large, greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size. Depending on the temperature, this should take 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Scoop the dough onto a piece of parchment or a greased work surface. Divide the dough into 15 to 24 pieces depending on your preferred size. Butter your hands well and shape the pieces into balls and roll to smooth portions. Place each ball into a greased 9×13 pan. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until the rolls fill the pan – usually another 1 /2 to 2 hours. About 30 minutes before rolls are done proofing, at the hour mark, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake risen rolls for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. If you use an instant read thermometer, check for an internal temperature of 200 degrees.
Allow the rolls to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Serve the rolls warm or at room temperature.

This next recipe is awfully close to the butternut squash bisque that I once made and loved. I’m planning on adding this dish to my holiday table – and some other meals throughout the winter.

Pumpkin Bisque

1 onion, chopped

1 tbs. olive oil

3 to 4 cups chicken stock

1 cup coconut milk

2 (15 oz.) cans pumpkin puree

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. curry powder

1/4 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Pinch each of nutmeg and cayenne pepper

freshly ground black pepper to taste.

In a large dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion. Saute until soft and beginning to brown (about 5 to 6 min.) Add the chicken stock, coconut milk, pumpkin and spices. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Then transfer soup to a blender in batches, or use an immersion blender, to blend until smooth. Return soup to the pot and bring back up to a simmer. Serve immediately with seasoned croutons, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Be sure to check back here next week. With Thanksgiving next Thursday, I plan to share recipes that will help you conquer holiday leftovers to cut down on throwing out good food!