Ghoulishly Grizzly Low Carb Halloween Meals: Pumpkin Sausage Soup

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Lucky Bonus Recipe!

Happy Halloweeny Everyone!

It’s Time To Take the Chill Outta Ya With Warm Fall Fixins’!

 
We sorta gave you the heads up that a “hey y’all, watch this” moment was about to occur and hope you were prepared! This is a bonus edition of Budget Low Carb Cooking or Feed 4 Under $10!

In honor of Halloween, we wanted to bring you one more festive meal idea to get your low carb brains thinkin’ creatively. In Part I, you learned how to make Guts ‘N’ Worms and not-so-spooky Monster Claws with Spicy Apricot Hot Mustard Dipping Sauce. Now you will learn the “secret” of Fluffy Chix Cook Pumpkin Sausage Soup in festive Oven Roasted Jack O’ Lanterns.

Even though we don’t have a very big fall, and Winter doesn’t really start until January, we cleave to those hearty and comforting chilis, soups, and stews of our youth.

You may be familiar with pumpkin sausage soup. Pumpkin sausage soup screams fall at the top of its lungs and is so warm and filling – a perfect comfort food. If you’ve been low carb for any length of time, there is a recipe floating around on the internet that you either love or hate. The recipe for pumpkin sausage soup uses ground breakfast sausage and canned pumpkin, along with Italian Seasoning. Sounds like cockamamie ingredients if you ask me, but I’m a member of the camp who loves that soup. And since I can’t sit still, or keep myself from tweakin’ things, I came up with this little spin on the low carb pumpkin sausage soup classic. I hope you’ll try it. It actually reminds me of the rich, comforting feeling I used to get from eating a thick bowl of split pea soup with ham hocks. Deeeeee-licious!

BONUS HALLOWEEN ENTREE – Total $8.76 (+ $3.96 if using the optional Roasted Jack O’ Lanterns)

$8.76 Pumpkin Sausage Soup with Garnish: Parmesan, Crumbled Bacon, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Fried Rosemary
$7.92 Pumpkin Sausage Soup for 4 People
$0.84 Garmish for 4 People

Pumpkin Sausage Soup

Recipe By: Susie T. Gibbs
Serves: 10         Serving Size: 1-1/2 cups    Yield: 16 cups
Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Simmer Time: 1 Hour 25 Minutes
Start to Finish Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

This hearty one dish meal tastes great on its own and freezes great. It’s a perfect fall or winter weeknight meal. Recipe splits well and can even be doubled to feed a crowd.

Low carb Pumpkin Sausage Soup served in a roasted Jack O’ Lantern pumpkin is perfect for Halloween pre-trick or treat dinner!

Soup Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 pounds smoked turkey leg – about 13 ounces of meat or 2 2/3 cup
  • 8 cups water – filtered
  • 2 bay leaf, whole
  • 1 cup onion – split, chopped (about 5.6oz)
  • 1 cup mushrooms – chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound sausage, breakfast, pork, pan, hot, raw
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth – or dry white wine, or omit and add more water or broth
  • 2 teaspoons parsley, freeze-dried
  • 2 teaspoons basil, dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme, dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon rosemary – or 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper – freshly ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 44 fluid ounces pumpkin, canned, custom – 1-15 oz can and 1-29 oz can
  • 1 cup cream, heavy, liquid – 1 tablespoon per cup

Garnish for 4 Servings – optional

  • 2 tablespoon parmesan cheese – grated
  • 2 slice bacon – cooked, drained and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, roasted

Steaming bowl of low carb Pumpkin Sausage Soup with Parmesan and pumpkin seed garnish makes a comforting meal for a crisp fall or winter night.

For Soup

  1. In heavy soup pan or Dutch oven, bring 6 cups water to a boil. Chop onion and add 1/2 cup onion to boiling water. Add bay leaf and turkey leg. Reduce heat to a slow simmer. Cover and cook 1 hour.
  2. While turkey broth is cooking, wash and coarsely chop mushrooms into pieces.
  3. Crumble and brown breakfast sausage in a large skillet. When sausage begins to brown, remove from pan. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of sausage grease from sauté pan. Add remaining half of the onion to the pan. Peel and thinly slice garlic. Add garlic, mushrooms, herbs, and spices, and whole sprig of rosemary to the sauteing onions. Saute until onions are translucent and mushrooms are tender. Add vegetables and rosemary to the soup pot.
  4. De-glaze sauté pan with dry vermouth or dry white wine and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. These add flavor to the soup. (I do not use a non-stick pan for this sauté, because we want to build up a browned surface on the bottom of the pan, called fond, but if that’s all you have, it will be fine.)
  5. When the turkey leg has finished simmering, remove leg from soup pan. You now have a rich smoked turkey stock. Add the browned meat mixture to the soup pot along with sautéed vegetables and herbs. Add chicken stock and bring soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow soup to simmer about 20 minutes. Add pumpkin puree (this is canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling). Stir to combine. Cover and let simmer an additional 20 minutes.
  6. Add cream and serve.
  7. Ladle cooked soup into bowls and garnish with Parmesan, crumbled bacon and toasted pumpkin seeds.

 

The garnish adds only pennies per bowl and taste delicious with low carb Pumpkin Sausage Soup.

For Optional Garnish

  1. Chop bacon and fry in small sauté pan until crisp. Drain and reserve for soup.
  2. Shave or grate Parmesan and reserve.
  3. Add a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy! It’s Halloween in a bowl, perfect for that pre-trick-or-treating meal!

 

Per Serving without Garnish: 419 Calories; 26g Fat; 34g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 124mg Cholesterol; 1335mg Sodium; 8g Net Carbs.

Per Serving with Garnish (Crumbled Bacon, Parmesan and Toasted Pumpkin Seed): 458 Calories; 29g Fat; 36g Protein; 15g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 129mg Cholesterol; 1432mg Sodium; 9g Net Carbs.

 

Serving Ideas: Serve with sliced tomatoes or a simple mixed greens salad with house vinaigrette, and if you feel industrious, Parmesan crusted cheese stuffed rolls. This soup is also great when served in mini Roasted Jack O’ Lanterns (recipe follows).

SUSIET’s NOTES:

The mini roasted Jack O’ Lantern pumpkins add a festive Halloween flair to low carb Pumpkin Sausage Soup.

This recipe makes quite a large amount of soup. I’ve split it in half for you with this recipe and it still makes 16 cups of soup! It could be split further, but it’s hard to split a turkey leg. You could substitute smoked turkey breast or even smoked sausage or smoked ham hocks. I especially love using smoked sausage links and cutting the sausage into rounds. That way, you get to eat sausage two ways! When I use smoked sausage in conjunction with the breakfast sausage I still throw in a smoked neck bone or two in order to get that smoky, deep flavor in the broth.

This meal will make 2.5 meals for 4 people – or as I think of it, it’ll make 2 meals for 4 and someone gets to have the lucky lunches after that! At $1.98 per serving for the soup without any garnishes, it’s hard to argue with the price, especially since it’s brimming with delicious meat. You can’t get a hearty soup like this one any cheaper.

Since the soup is fairly involved, I make one huge batch at the beginning of fall, and portion and freeze it for later. That way, we have this delicious pumpkin sausage soup in the freezer, ready to go for quick weeknight meals. If you lack freezer space, feel free to cut the recipe in half.

Don’t forget! For the purposes of our Feed 4 Under $10 menu, we will assume this recipe will yield a second meal plus leftovers.

The garnish is not included in the cost of the recipe or in the nutritional information. This soup tastes awesome on its own without any garnish and is a great stand-alone meal. But make the garnish for a complete BOMB! It’s TLF (To Live For) Delicious!

Go crazy for Halloween and make Fluffy Chix Cook darling individual roasted jack o’ lantern punkins and serve the soup in the punkins!

 

Roasted Jack O’ Lantern Pumpkins

Recipe By: Susie T. Gibbs
Serves: 4         Serving Size: 1 mini pumpkin            Yield: 4 pumpkins
Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Roasting Time: 40 Minutes
Start to Finish Time: 1 Hour

These cute little roasted pumpkins make a great, Halloween treat for serving all kinds of soups and stews. Don’t forget to roast the seeds that you scoop out of the pumpkins and save them for snacks.

Festively Halloween, mini roasted Jack O’ Lantern pumpkins are perfect for serving low carb fall or winter soups and stews.

Ingredients

  • 4 miniature pumpkins, orange or red kuri squash
  • 4 spritz olive oil spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper — freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 seeds from pumpkins or squash

For Roasted Jack O’Lanterns

  1. If you want to take the optional festive step of making this a fun Halloween dinner. Make baked jack o’ lanterns to serve the soup.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°. Wash and dry pumpkins. Cut circular lids out of pumpkins, being careful to keep pumpkin shells intact and without any knife pierces. Scoop out seeds. Spray insides of pumpkin shells and lids with olive oil spray and season with salt and pepper.
  3. If desired, you can carve very shallow jack o’ lantern faces into the pumpkins or red kuri squash and gently peel the skin away from the cut areas. Don’t go too deep, a 1/32″ to 1/16″ removal of surface skin is sufficient – just the outer layer. Rub cut out areas with olive oil spray.
  4. While soup is cooking, roast pumpkins or squash on a baking sheet in a 450° oven. Pumpkins will take about 35-40 minutes to roast. Test by piercing pumpkins with a knife. If knife goes in easily, they’re done. Don’t over cook them. You don’t want mushy pumpkins that collapse.
  5. Remove pumpkins and lids from pan. Jack o’ lantern faces should show up as lighter areas from the browned pumpkin. If the faces don’t show up as prominently as you’d like and want to emphasize them, you can run a small kitchen torch (like the kind used to brulee desserts) over the face cut outs to embellish the faces.
  6. Ladle cooked soup into roasted pumpkin bowls and serve with Parmesan crusted low carb rolls. We like to garnish soup with an optional grating or two of Parmesan cheese and a few crumbles of bacon and a few toasted pumpkin seeds.

Hearty low carb Pumpkin Sausage Soup brings warmth and comfort for very few carbs. Pumpkin is high in vitamins A and C and have so much potassium too.

For Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Wash scooped seeds and toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle  with kosher salt.
  2. Roast at 300° for 10 – 15 minutes or until crispy.

Per Serving for Roasted Pumpkins: 27 Calories; 1g Fat; 1g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 235mg Sodium; 4g Net Carbs.

Per 1 Tablespoon Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: 22 Calories; 1g Fat; 1g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 59mg Sodium; 1g Net Carbs.

 

(Save the roasted seeds from the mini pumpkins for snacking. Use hulled, roasted pumpkin seeds as part of your soup garnish. You can buy them roasted or un-roasted and make them yourself.

Serving Ideas: Use these festive pumpkins as a container to serve fall and winter soups and stews. Pair them with a simple green salad or sliced grape tomatoes and consider it a meal!

 

SUSIET’s NOTES:
The jack o’ lantern pumpkin “made” the presentation of this soup so fun and festive. The sock monkey boys went NUTS for it and couldn’t get enough. I give this a hearty 4 Forks up! The punkin was easy to carve and baked quickly. You could really see the details of the face, too.

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