Here's how to transform your leftover pumpkin and winter greens into a hearty meal.

This Halloween, my pumpkin skipped the jack o’lantern stage of its life and went straight to soup. While I’d like to pretend this is a sign of my impending adulthood, the reality is that I was too busy making myself a unicorn costume to carve a festive gourd.

Instead, the pumpkin sat in my kitchen intact, reminding me that I had various fresh (and not-so-fresh) vegetables to cook. By the time I decided to turn it into bisque, I had a drawerful of limp kale, several onions, and an apple or two to eat as well.

The resulting dinner is based on a few of my mom’s recipes, which I adapted according to my lactose intolerance and limited spice cabinet. It’s a meal designed to mask procrastination with sophistication, but it tastes pretty good, too. What more could a harried college student ask for?


Pumpkin Bisque 

1 medium-sized pumpkin

1/2 shallot

1/2 yellow onion

1/2 red onion

1 1/2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbs. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Salt and pepper

1. Finely chop the shallot and onions. Sautée them in the olive oil until translucent and set them aside to cool.

2. Cut around and remove the stem of the pumpkin. Scrape out the stringy insides of the pumpkin until its walls are smooth. Save the seeds for later.

3. Slice the pumpkin in half and divide each half into four segments. Cut the pumpkin segments into 1.5” x 1.5” squares, slicing away the shiny exterior on each one.

4. Place the pumpkin squares into a pot of water on the stove and boil them until soft. (You should be able to slice through them with the side of a metal spoon.)

5. Drain the pumpkin squares over the sink and pour the remaining mush into the blender.

6. Pour the rest of the ingredients into the blender. Mix gently with a spoon before pureeing.

7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy hot or cold.


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Seeds from a raw pumpkin

Extra virgin olive oil


1. Thoroughly wash the seeds to remove any strings of pumpkin.

2. Pour the clean seeds into a bowl and toss them with olive oil until coated.

3. Arrange the seeds into a single layer on a baking sheet.

4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Bake the seeds until they are lightly toasted on both sides. (Lower the temperature of the oven if they appear to be burning.)

6. Toss the seeds in a bowl with salt to taste.

7. Allow them to cool for a few minutes before serving.


Easy Winter Greens

1/2 yellow onion

1 1/2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch raw kale, chard, collard greens, or rapini

1 cup water

1 tbs. maple syrup

1/2 cup walnuts

1 apple

Salt and pepper

1. Finely chop the onion and sautée in olive oil until translucent. Keep on the stove at low heat.

2. Wash and chop the greens into strips about 1” wide. Add to the onions over medium heat.

3. Pour the water into the pan and allow the greens to cook until the stems are steamed and soft.

4. Carefully tip any excess water out of the pan into the sink. Place the pan back on the stove and add the maple syrup, mixing over low heat.

5. Chop the apple and walnuts into 0.5” pieces and add them to the pan. Stir together with the greens and onion until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

6. Remove from the stove and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or cold.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds good. I’ll have to try it.