The Month of the Pumpkin Challenge: Week 4

I can not believe that October is already over! Where did it go?! My favorite month is also always my busiest month of the year, which is both a blessing and a curse since time flies when you actually have a social life. Anyhoo, Halloween was a big success and the costumes turned out great (pics coming soon!). I made two pumpkin entrees last week: Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup and Thai Pumpkin Soup. I felt that the Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup was in desperate need of starchy carbs, so I would recommend putting it into a bread bowl (which would also make for a pretty presentation). The Thai Pumpkin Soup was wonderful and we will definitely be making it again, although it’s really more of an appetizer than a main meal. Dessert this week was Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Icing, which I made into individual loaves so we could eat them for breakfast, because pumpkin-y desserts pair beautifully with a big cup of coffee :)

Week Four Entrée/Appetizer: Thai Pumpkin Soup



  • 2 cans regular (not light) coconut milk
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • fresh black pepper
  • pinch of chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • thinly sliced onions
  • chopped tomatoes

Put all ingredients (except tomatoes) into saucepan, bring to boil and stir to dissolve curry paste. Simmer 5-10 minutes. Add tomatoes just before serving.

P.S. The pic has cilantro in it…but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Week Four Entree: Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup (Recipe by Rachel Ray)


  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive 
  •  1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
  • 2 cans (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt
  • 20 blades fresh chives, chopped or snipped, for garnish

Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add onion. Saute onions 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, black beans and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine ingredients and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream, curry, cumin, cayenne and salt, to taste. Simmer 5 minutes, adjust seasonings and serve garnished with chopped chives.

Week Four Dessert: Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Icing/Glaze (Recipe by Martha Stewart)


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup warm milk

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan. Line pan with parchment, and butter the parchment. Coat pan with flour, and tap out any excess.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, and beat until combined. Add pumpkin puree and milk; beat until combined. Add reserved flour mixture; beat on low speed until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool. Let cake rest 20 minutes.

 Brown Butter Icing:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk

 Melt butter on med/high heat until nut brown (~10 min). Pour into bowl (leaving burned bits in pan) and add remaining ingredients. Stir to mix, cool. *Note: I used more milk to make a glaze since I made individual loaves instead of a cake.*

Week Four Fall Seasonal Beer: Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale

I would just like to say how happy it made me to hear that people were trying my recipes from the pumpkin challenge!! I have enjoyed this challenge so much that I doubt I’ll quit now (especially considering that I just got an e-mail full of Martha Stewart Pumpkin recipes!!!), and I will share any other exceptionally scrumptious pumpkin goodies that I discover in the upcoming month :)

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