Oh yeah, that was me.
Of all of the squash-related recipes I’ve experimented with lately, the one I’ve become hopelessly addicted to is the unlikeliest one of all: a pumpkin porridge of sorts.
Pumpkin soup for breakfast? Yeah, I’ll pass. And normally I would have, but then the Neighbors brought some over and since they’ve never led me astray, it would have been rude of me to not even try it. Three breakfasts-in-a-row later, I had to decide how rude it would be to ask them to make me another pot. I requested the recipe instead.
I think I’m speaking for everyone who’s reading when I say most of us don’t have much love for porridge. Modern-day Goldilockses are more likely to break and enter for Fruit Loops than settle for the Bear Family’s open-door porridge extravaganza. It’s a bit old-fashioned and often bland. Yet, these are the same reasons why I find it so comforting. I grew up on hot cereal in the colder months (cinnamon-laced oatmeal, hot-buttered grits, Cream of Wheat). I don’t know, it just makes me feel good.
This breakfast soup is actually little Cream of Wheat dumplings simmered in pumpkin-infused milk. Inevitably, some of the dumplings break and the free-agent Cream of Wheat thickens up the rest to a porridge consistency. Yum. Unless you’re weird about textures, then you’ll totally hate this.
I won’t lie, I added a little heavy cream. Maybe a cup of cream to a pint and a half of 1% milk (did my chair just break?). Once it’s cooked, you may want to add a bit of sugar upon serving, but my CSA pumpkins were perfectly sweet as they were. Or maybe it was the cream talking. Either way, it wasn’t too rich or too bland, it was just right.
Now, how about that nap?
Warm Pumpkin Porridge
1-2 small pie pumpkins, to yield about 2 cups of pumpkin flesh
1 quart milk
2 eggs, beaten
1-2 oz. quick Cream of Wheat (between one and two packets)
¼ tsp. salt
Sugar to taste
Fresh grated nutmeg to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, place on foil-lined pan cut-side down, and bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool, and with a spoon gently scrape the pumpkin flesh (in smallish pieces) into a medium pot. Add milk and set over low heat without boiling for a half hour to infuse the flavors.
In a small bowl, beat eggs with a fork. Add the salt and enough Cream of Wheat to make a soupy mixture (two packets was too much; maybe one and a quarter). Mixture should run off the fork, but it will thicken upon standing. If it gets too thick, just add some warm milk from the pot to loosen it up.
Turn up the heat and maintain flame at a gentle simmer. Scoop ¼ tsp. of dumpling mixture at a time into the pot to cook. Mix every so often, being careful not to let soup burn. Once all the dumplings are in, cover the pot, turn down the heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Serve with sugar, more milk, and a light dusting of grated nutmeg, if desired. Makes enough for breakfast all week.
Source: Adapted from Neighbor Husband’s mom.