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Pumpkins make great fall dishes

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Pumpkin pie is a fall favorite, and traditional for the holidays, and I love it. But, I recently tried some new pumpkin recipes and really liked them.
First is the Pumpkin Soup, which I didn’t think I’d like, but I do. I found this recipe in a book from England called “Simple Suppers,” by Gina Steer. When you’re getting your jack-o-lantern pumpkin for Halloween this year, get an extra one and try this soup.
The Pumpkin Crisp is a delicious easy dessert, and one of my seemingly endless uses for yellow cake mix.  Last, but not least, is an oldie-but-goodie from my cookbook, Pumpkin (No Crumb) Cookies. I started making them when my girls were little, and they’re still one of my favorites. They have a cake-like consistency, and they’re crumb-less!

Cream of Pumpkin Soup
2 lb. pumpkin cubes, after peeling and discarding the seeds (or can use canned pumpkin)
4 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1 large carrot, chopped
2 celery sticks
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
Salt and pepper
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 c. whipping cream
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and cook the pumpkin cubes for two to three minutes, then add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, cooking and stirring about five minutes. Cover vegetables with water and bring to boil. Season with plenty of salt and pepper, and the nutmeg, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until all of the vegetables are tender. Remove from heat; drain and cool slightly. Pour into food processor or blender, and puree, then strain through a sieve into clean saucepan. Add the whipping cream, and a little water if necessary to obtain the correct consistency. Bring to boiling point; add the cayenne pepper. Serves four.

Pumpkin Crisp
1 (15oz) can pumpkin
1 c. evaporated milk
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 butter-flavored yellow cake mix
1 c. chopped pecans
1 c. butter, melted
Whipped cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together first five ingredients and pour into a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture; sprinkle evenly with pecans. Drizzle butter over the top. Bake for one hour to one hour five minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream, if desired.  (Also good with vanilla ice cream.) Serves eight to ten.

Pumpkin (No Crumb) Cookies
1/2 c. shortening
1 1/4 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
2 1/2 c. flour
4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 c. raisins
1 c. chopped pecans
Cream together shortening and sugar, then add eggs. Add vanilla and pumpkin; mix well. Mix dry ingredients together and add. Stir in raisins and nuts. Place heaping tablespoons 2” apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Makes three dozen plus.