Sincerely Carolina

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Day Eight: Gluten-Free with RR Challenge — Pumpkin Freak-A-Licious

by caroline

It all started with a simple pumpkin craving that turned into this …

… and this …

You would think it was fall or something with all of this pumpkin I have going on, but, alas, spring is just around the corner! Nevertheless, yesterday was a pumpkin-licious kind of day.

So, let’s get started with the deets, right?

First up was the creation of a gluten-free, vegan Pumpkin Gob. I can’t quite put a finger on it, but I think it may have been these guys that took yesterday morning’s pumpkin fantasy and turned it into a sam-ich.

Remember how I once said I love a gluten-free (often vegan) treat that can turn even the best of doubters into believers? This dessert qualifies as one of those life-altering moments. Seriously. It will make you do a dance in your pants. It’s like a pumpkin and a cheesecake decided to get jiggy with it and have a baby. No jokes.


Like, I already said: These are unbelievably yummy. I walked into the kitchen yesterday to find Dan with one in each hand (and he’s not gluten-free or a vegan)! “What are these?!” he said. But it sounded more like, “What … chomp … are … chew … these?!”

After I made these, I realized I still had to cook up something for the Day 8 of the Gluten-Free with Rachael Ray Challenge. Dan hasn’t been feeling that well, — itchy, scratchy throat, cough, etc. — so I really wanted to make some soup. I also had a lot of leftover puréed pumpkin. So, I thought pumpkin + soup …. hmmm …. and discovered this tasty Rachael Ray number: Pumpkin, Cheddar and Chipotle Soup.

I made it gluten-free and vegan, and here’s what I came up with:

RR’s Ingredients The G-Spot Used
  • 1 sugar pumpkin or small butternut squash or 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 sugar pumpkin or small butternut squash or 1 can pumpkin puree
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for roasting pumpkin or squash, plus 1 tablespoon
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for roasting pumpkin or squash, plus 1 tablespoon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (32 ounces), divided
  • 4 cups gluten-free vegetable stock (32 ounces), divided
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (1/3 palmful)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (1/3 palmful)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (1/3 palmful)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (1/3 palmful)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (1/3 palmful)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (1/3 palmful)
  • Honey, for drizzling
  • Agave, for drizzling
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups gluten-free rice milk
  • 2 cups shredded yellow sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 small chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and finely chopped, plus 1 rounded tablespoon of adobo sauce
  • 3 Tbsps of chili powder (I didn’t have chipotle peppers on hand, so I worked with what I had!)
  • Unsalted crispy yellow or blue corn tortilla chips
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
  • Unslated sunflower seeds, for garnish




If using fresh pumpkin or squash, pre-heat the oven to 425°F.

Peel, seed and chop the pumpkin or squash, coat with EVOO, salt and pepper and roast to tender, 45 minutes. If using canned pumpkin puree, skip these steps. (I skipped these steps since I already had canned pumpkin on hand.)

Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the carrot and onion to tender, about 10 minutes. Season with nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, paprika, a drizzle of agave, salt and pepper, to taste. Toast the spices, about 1 minute.

Add the carrot and onion along with the roasted pumpkin or squash to the bowl of a food processor and puree with a splash of stock. If using canned pumpkin, puree the onion and carrot together with some stock and stir in the canned pumpkin to combine.

Wipe out the soup pot and return to the heat. Melt the butter; whisk in the gluten-free flour, then the ricemilk. Season with salt and pepper and thicken to coat a spoon. Stir in the cheese to melt, then add the chipotle and adobo sauce. Stir in the remaining stock and squash or pumpkin puree. Let simmer to thicken the soup.

Place a few crushed tortillas on top of the soup; mix the tortillas into the soup as you eat. Garnish with sunflower seeds and a smidge of cheese on top.

Note: Both of these recipes are gluten-free and vegan. (If you have allergies or food sensitivities, always check specific manufacturer’s products for allergens and/or cross-contamination issues.)


The pumpkin soup was deliciously pure. The spice was just right, and the chips and sunflower seeds added a perfect amount of crunchiness. We actually also put a scoop of brown rice at the bottom of our bowls to add a little more substance to the dish and it was a tasty addition!

So, I think I’m all pumpkin-ed out … for now. But I can’t tell you how happy the smell of pumpkin wafting throughout our home made me. Do you have a smell that just does it for you? That makes your whole world feel oh-so-right? The smell of cinnamon and cloves always reminds me of my mom (her favorite scents), and apple pie reminds me of a warm hug from my Gram.

How about you?