Two pumpkin recipes from local chefs--one savory, one sweet

Fresh pumpkin is the best.

Fresh pumpkin is the best.

While we love Halloween candy as much as the next guy, we also dig the pumpkin dishes that pop up at area restos during the season. Some are savory and some are sweet, but all give you that fall feeling. The Hot Dish spoke with a few local chefs who share our orange enthusiasm and agreed to reveal some tasty recipes. In honor of this weekend's festivities, we present two pumpkin dishes--a savory soup from Dandelion Kitchen's Natalie Coleman and Alex Brand and a sweet cheesecake from Butter's Amy Schabert.

Read on for the delicious details.


Dandelion Kitchen is still braving the elements to serve folks amazing food on Nicollet Mall, like today's late October menu of spiced cider, duck confit sandwich, and our fave, the roasted pumpkin soup. Before you make it at home, be sure you have a pie pumpkin--this doesn't use the canned stuff.

Dandelion Kitchen's Roasted Pumpkin Soup

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. chicken wings
1 large yellow onion coarsely chopped
2 carrots coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
1 clove
5 black peppercorns
1 stick cinnamon
1/4 c. chopped ginger
3 quarts water
1 large pie pumpkin
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. maple syrup
Light cream
Allepo pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Without crowding the pan, add chicken wings and brown on both sides. Remove and set aside. Add carrots and onions to pan and cook 4-5 minutes. Add chicken, spices, water, and ginger and simmer gently for 45 minutes. While the stock is simmering, cut pumpkin into three pieces. With a large spoon, remove seeds from inside, brush with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place pumpkin on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees until soft, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the skin (a sharp paring knife is helpful). Cut into one-inch cubes.

Strain the stock through a sieve to remove solids and place back on the stove, reserving 1 cup. Add pumpkin and boil gently for 10 minutes. Pour soup into a blender (place a paper towel under the lid to avoid a hot soup explosion!) and blend for three minutes until very smooth. If soup is too thick, add reserved stock until the desired consistency is reached. Stir in lemon juice, maple syrup, and salt to taste. Garnish with light cream and a pinch of allepo pepper.

Butter Bakery and Cafe is known for its eclairs, but pumpkin treats abound here during the autumn. Pumpkin whoopie pies and ghost cut-out cookies can be found in the bakery case, along with this luscious pumpkin cheesecake, which won the Kingfield Farmer's Market pumpkin bake-off a few years ago.

Butter's Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

For crust:
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (homemade or store-bought)
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4-5 tbsp. melted butter

For cheesecake:
1 1/2 lbs. cream cheese
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 c. pumpkin puree
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For optional topping:
1 c. whipping cream
1 tbsp. confectioner's sugar
Dash vanilla
Ground cinnamon to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and set aside. Mix together all the crust ingredients and then pat into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool before adding filling.

Make sure all cheesecake ingredients are at room temperature. Cream together cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl after each one. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on low speed until well blended. Pour the filling over the cooled crust and bake for one hour or until the edge is firm and the center still jiggles. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should read about 150 degrees when done. Allow to cool to room temperature. Then chill for several hours or overnight before removing from the pan. A water bath can be used for baking, but it is not crucial. If topping is desired, whip the cream with the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and spread decoratively over the cooled cake.