Harvest Pumpkin Stew

This stew makes a beautiful presentation -- great for Thanksgiving, Halloween, or any autumnal festive dinner.

Serves up to 20.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Cut the top of the pumpkin off. Remove the stringy stuff and the seeds. Discard the stringy stuff, and toast the seeds: spray a cookie sheet with oil and spread the seeds in a single layer, toast at 400 degrees until just starting to turn brown; salt the toasted seeds and munch on them while you make the rest of the stew. :)

Lightly brush the inside of the pumpkin with olive oil, then salt and pepper. Set aside.

Put the chopped up potatoes, yams, and carrots (basically, any veggies that need lots of softening) in the microwave on high until they just start to yield to the touch. Alternately, boil 'em in the broth until they start to yield to the touch.

Put all the veggies, beans (and sausage if you're using it) and broth and wine and spices into a big soup pot (or two) and cook for about an hour.

Pour the stew into the prepared pumpkin, then put the pumpkin into the oven on a baking sheet at 350 degrees; bake about an hour.

To serve, scoop some of the pumpkin flesh out with each serving.