Enjoy Pumpkin In Your Soup, Lasagna, Ice Cream And Cake

Here are four great pumpkin recipes for soups, entrees and desserts.

I was recently challenged to do an all pumpkin segment.  It’s not really that tough of a challenge because pumpkin is great in both sweet and savory dishes.  Plus, I received two tasty recipes from friends. 

I’ve shared NBC5 meteorologist Andy Avalos's wife Anna's spicy pumpkin soup in the past.  This spicy soup is easy to prepare but really big on flavor.   I’ve also added a little variation to the original recipe using roasted shrimp.  The pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting came from Jennifer Schwarz, one of our morning show’s content producers.  The recipe is her mom, Betty’s, and it’s a big hit, too.  The last two recipes, pumpkin lasagna, and pumpkin ice cream, are mine.  They offer a nice contrast to the first two dishes.  So, combined, you now have four new ways to enjoy pumpkin this season.

Spicy Pumpkin Soup With Roasted Pine Nuts
Courtesy of Anna Avalos


1/2 cu Butter
1 lg Onion, finely chopped
2 Jalapeños, seeded and finely minced
3 cu Pure Pumpkin Puree
2 cloves Garlic, minced
6 cu Chicken Stock
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
1/4 cu Heavy Cream (optional)
3 tbl All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cu Toasted Pine Nuts
Garlic Croutons, for garnish


Melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and jalapeños and saute until soft. Add garlic and cook for about two more minutes.  Add pumpkin, chicken stock, salt, and bouillon cubes. Bring soup to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and puree in a blender in batches.  Be very carful as you start the blender because contents can sometimes fly out (be sure to do it in small batches).  Return to a medium heat.  Add cream here if you choose, making sure not to boil soup.  Take out 1 cup of liquid and blend it with the flour in a small bowl, stirring until all lumps are gone. Add mixture back to soup.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes until flour mixture is fully heated and incorporated. Season soup to taste. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and garlic croutons -- homemade are the best. Enjoy!

A variation to this dish:  Rather than using croutons, try toasting thin slices of french bread.  Set those aside and then roast shrimp that has been seasoned with a little salt, pepper and chili powder.  Place a shrimp or two on a crostini and float it on the soup.  Top with pine nuts and serve.

This dish is also great served in a pumpkin soup bowl.  Simple cut the top off of a medium to small sized pumpkin (reserve the top).  Scoop out the seeds and rinse the inside of the pumpkin.  Turn upside down to drain.  Just before ready to serve, place the pumpkin in an oven that has been preheated to 250 degrees.  Warm for about 7-10 minutes then place on a nicely folded napkin inside of a regular bowl.  Ladle the soup into the bowl and place the top back on the pumpkin and serve.

Betty's Famous Pumpkin Bars
courtesy of Betty Schwarz



4 lg Eggs
2 cu Sugar
1 cu Vegetable Oil
15 oz Pure Pumpkin
2 cu Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Cloves
1/2 tsp Nutmeg


6 oz Cream Cheese
6 tbl Butter
1tbl Cream or Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
4 cu Powdered Sugar
2 cu Chopped Walnuts (Wayne used pecans)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, and pumpkin in a large bowl and set aside.  In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.  Stir flour mixture into egg mixture and blend well.  Pour ingredients into a 12" x 8" x 1" pan that has been greased or sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Beat cream cheese, butter, cream and vanilla until smooth.  Add powdered sugar until the consistency is smooth enough to spread.  Once pastry has cooled completely, cover it with frosting.  Top frosting with chopped walnuts.  Slice into bars and serve.

Pumpkin Lasagna

1 Box Lasagna Noodles, prepared according to package directions (16-18 noodles)
5 tbl Butter
4 tbl All-Purpose Flour
2 cu Whole Milk
15oz Pure Pumpkin
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 tbl Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 Pepper
8 oz Mushrooms, chopped
1 cu Onion, chopped
1 tsp Fresh Sage, minced
9 oz pkg Frozen Spinach, defrosted, drained and squeezed to remove all liquid
1 1/2 cu Shredded Mozzarella
1 cu Shaved Parmesan


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Make pumpkin béchamel:  Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Add flour and stir constantly until mixture is fully blended and just starts to color a bit.  While still stirring, slowly add milk.  Continuing stirring until fully blended.  Bring mixture to a boil and continue to stir for about 5-6 minutes as mixture thickens.  Add pumpkin and stir until fully blended.  Remove from heat and add nutmeg.  Set aside.

Heat olive oil and remaining tablespoon of butter over medium low heat in a large saucepan.  Add onions and garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and continue to sauté, for an additional 10 minutes, until mushrooms are tender and have released their moisture.  Add sage, salt and pepper and heat through.  Remove from heat and set aside.

To assemble lasagna, spread about 1/2 cup of the pumpkin mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 pan that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.  Place four noodles over the sauce, letting them overlap slightly.  Cover noodles with 1/2 cup of additional sauce.  Spread 1/2 of the mushrooms over the sauce.  Cover mushrooms with 1/3 of the mozzarella.  Add four more noodles.  Add another 1/2 cup of sauce.  Cover sauce with all of the spinach and then another 1/3 of the mozzarella.  Add another layer of pasta.  Cover with sauce, the remaining mushrooms and the remaining mozzarella. Add a final layer of pasta.  If you have extra pasta, cut it into pieces to completely cover the top of the dish.  Evenly spread the remaining sauce on top and cover the dish with aluminum.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove aluminum and sprinkle Parmesan on top.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes. 

Remove from oven and let lasagna rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Pumpkin Ice Cream


2 cu Heavy Cream
1 1/2 cu Whole Milk
6 lg Egg Yolks
3/4 cu Granulated Sugar
1 cu Pure Pumpkin
2 tsp Almond Extract
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt


Place cream and milk in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a medium sized bowl until creamy and about the consistency of mayonnaise.  Continuing whisking and pour in about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture until fully incorporated.  Pour the warmed mixture back into the saucepan and cook until just before mixture starts to boil, stirring constantly. 

Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl.  Add pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and almond extract.  Place a piece of plastic directly onto the surface and then chill the mixture for at least 4 hours before putting into an ice cream freezer.

Once frozen, try serving with pecans and a splash of maple syrup.

Thanks again to Anna Avaolos and Betty and Jennifer Schwarz.  I couldn’t have done this segment without you!

If you have any questions or comments, please send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com or follow me on Facebook.

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