Mimsy Were the Borogoves

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Cream of Jack-o-Lantern soup

Jerry Stratton, October 14, 2020

Use the body parts of your hallowe’en pumpkin to make a tasty, if disconcerting, pumpkin soup.

Servings: 2
Preparation Time: 45 minutes


  • pumpkin carving leftovers
  • ¼ cup sliced green onion
  • 1 ½ tablespoons melted butter
  • 5 oz chicken broth
  • ½ small tomato, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup milk


  1. Place the pumpkin pieces on a pan and cover with aluminum foil.
  2. Bake at 350° until tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Mash; adjust remaining ingredients in proportion to one cup of mashed pumpkin.
  4. Sauté green onion in butter until tender.
  5. Add remaining ingredients except cream and milk.
  6. Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Purée in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  8. Mix cream and milk together, then add into soup and heat through.
Lit jack-o-lantern

What’s more eerie, a glowing pumpkin-head flickering orange and red in the deep of the night, or making a soup from its eyes, nose, and lips?

Every Hallowe’en I take a delicious pumpkin, carve it inexpertly into a face, and put it outside to rot. It always seems like a great waste of a mass of very nice food. As much as I make fun of the spread of pumpkin spice throughout the food chain from potato chips to pasta sauce, I thoroughly enjoy real pumpkin.

It occurred to me last year that, while I can’t use the pumpkin head after it’s been sitting outside several days, I do have a handful of material left over from the carving. Would that be enough to make something out of?

Yes, carving my single medium-sized pumpkin provided almost exactly one cup of mashed pumpkin. That’s not enough for a full pie, but it does make a great couple of servings of cream of pumpkin soup. The recipe assumes that after roasting and mashing, you have approximately one cup of mashed pumpkin. You’ll need to adjust the ingredients in this recipe in proportion to that.

Pumpkin soup

It’s a mildly-flavored soup that goes well with sandwiches.

If you’re carving four or more pumpkins, you’ve got a full meal left over in your carvings.

You can add meat, croutons, or other crunchies to further improve the soup; a dollop of cream or yogurt; and/or some sliced green onion or herb.

It is, to me at least, more than a bit weird eating a soup made of fake body parts, even, or especially, fake body parts from a fake supernatural creature. Jack-o-lanterns are supposed to protect the home they’re placed outside of. Do they resent my feasting on their senses? Will this turn them against me? Will they become the evil spirt they’re supposed to drive away?

I survived last year, but if you don’t see any blog posts after October 31, invest in holy water and crucifixes. To quote many a comic book character or movie character, “horror movies start this way.”

This recipe is a modified version of Cream of Pumpkin Soup from the Southern Living Holiday Cookbook.

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