Pink Pumpkins and Breast Cancer Awareness
By Nancy Eisman
Every October, Melissa’s and the produce industry place the spotlight on Breast Cancer Awareness Month by bringing Pink Pumpkins to markets across America. A percentage of the proceeds for every Pink Pumpkin sold during the month of October is given to organizations involved in breast cancer research.
With a light, blush-pink skin, and vibrant orange flesh, pink pumpkins are beautiful on the outside and delicious and nutritious on the inside. Loaded with vitamin A, super high in potassium, low carb and low cal, and full of antioxidant rich beta-carotene, with pumpkins you get all of these health benefits plus an extremely versatile ingredient for recipes from the savory start of a meal to the sweet finish.
To celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Halloween, the seasonal harvest, falling leaves and brisk temps, or simply nothing at all, this recipe for Pink Pumpkin Chowder will fill you up with warm spices, tender pumpkin, DYPs, aromatics, and creamy coconut milk goodness.
Because Pink Pumpkins are beautiful, delicious, and for the benefit of such a worthy cause, consider buying at least one for your fall harvest décor, and at least one for cooking something spectacular, because Pink Pumpkins are not just good lookin’, they’re very good cookin’.
Pink Pumpkin Chowder
2 tablespoons Grape Seed or Vegetable Oil
2 cups White Onion, diced
¼ cup Shallots
4 cups Pink Pumpkin
, cut into ½” cubes
3 cups Melissa’s Baby Dutch Yellow® Potatoes (DYPs)
, peeled and cut into ½” cubes
1½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1½ teaspoons Mesquite Powder or ½ tablespoon Liquid Smoke
1½ teaspoons Melissa’s Hatch Chile Powder
2 tablespoons Fresh Thyme
5 cups Vegetable Broth
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1½ cups Coconut Milk
3 cups Hominy (prepared, rinsed)
Fresh Pineapple Sage Leaves for garnish (optional)
Place the oil in a stockpot over medium heat and when the oil begins to sizzle, add the onions and stir to coat. Cook the onions about 4 minutes, add the shallots and stir to coat, and cook another minute or so until softened.
Add the pumpkin and potatoes, stir to incorporate, and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add in the spices and fresh thyme, stir to combine, cook another minute, and then add the vegetable broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Raise the heat until the mixture is boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or so until the veggies are nearly tender. Stir in the coconut milk and hominy and cook another 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more of whatever you like. Turn off the heat.
Very carefully ladle the hot broth and ⅓ - ½ of the veggies into a blender and process until completely smooth. Return the creamy mixture into the stockpot, stir to combine, and taste for seasoning adjustments if needed. Pour the chowder into a soup tureen and garnish with pineapple sage leaves and pepitas.
Warm corn bread with your favorite honey “butter” or spicy jam would be perfect with this chowder.