October 2005


Rouge d'Etampes Pumpkin – "Cucurbita pepo"


Origin: France





We just got done this morning pulling the last of these pumpkins out of our garden…this year was a bumper crop! Also known as the "Cinderella" pumpkin, Rouge d'Etampes grow into a squat pumpkin so brightly orange, it almost seems to glow in the dark.

In my opinion, they are fairly easy pumpkins to grow and very prolific. We got over a dozen nice pumpkins from three plants. Like most members of the squash family, the Rouge d'Etampes needs plenty of space to grow. By mid-summer, ours had taken over the entire garden and was making a bid for the backyard.

An heirloom plant, which has been around for many years, the Rouge d'Etampes is not only decorative but useful in the kitchen . Their meat makes a good pie, soup, or other yummy baked goods. The roasted seeds will make your parrots happy! And so that nothing goes to waste, here is a recipe for using the shell as a pumpkin soup tureen.    


Pumpkin Soup

  1. Wash the pumpkin well and dry.
  2. Using a sharp knife, insert the tip about 1/3 of the way down, and cut away the top to form a lid. Scoop out the seeds (definitely save them for roasting) and stringy mass.
  3. Lightly oil the pumpkin inside and out, then sprinkle the inside with salt.
  4. Place the pumpkin and lid on a parchment lined baking sheet or spray with cooking oil spray.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for an hour to an hour and a half (depending on the size of the shell). This is the tricky part. An over -baked shell will not support the weight of the soup so under-baking is preferred. Bake the pumpkin shell until it begins to soften.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool.
  7. Gently scoop out some of the soft pumpkin from the wall, being careful not to puncture the shell. Scrape the cooked pumpkin from the lid as well. Use this cooked portion for your pumpkin soup or freeze it for later use.
  8. Ladle hot soup into the pumpkin and serve. The lid can be used as a cover or you can serve the soup uncovered.