Fall harvest and Halloween festivities always inspire me to try a new pumpkin soup recipe. This Coconut-Pumpkin and Orzo Soup, inspired by a recipe from Six O’Clock Scramble subscriber Laurie McLean of Pueblo, Colorado, was especially fun for us because my 13-year-old son was head chef. We all loved it, but Solomon reserved the right to take the leftovers to school for lunch the next day.

While we’re getting in the Halloween mood, it’s time to start thinking about making costumes for our little goblins. When I was trick-or-treating as a kid in the 70s, we didn’t spend $20 or $30 on costumes. The go-to, last-minute costume was a white sheet with holes cut out for eyes. We little ghosts spent much of the evening trying to make sure the holes stayed in place so we could see well enough to grab lots of candy.

Making your kids’ costumes can save money (usually) and be a greener option than buying from a store, and it’s a really enjoyable project to do together.  In fact, designing and making the costume is often almost as much as fun as showing them off on Halloween.

Start by asking your child(ren) what they want to be, and have them describe the costume or draw it for you. Then, work together to come up with ways to make their vision a reality. For inspiration, you can search for ideas online by typing in the keyword and clicking on “images” in your favorite search engine.

Here’s one more reason to make our kids costumes this year: KIWI magazine is sponsoring a Make-Your-Own-Halloween-Costume contest . Winners receive $250 and their kids and their costumes could be featured in the magazine’s October 2012 issue.

Our friends at KIWI magazine are also giving away subscriptions to three lucky Kitchen Explorers readers this week. To be eligible to win, see instructions at the end of the post.  I hope you enjoy this soothing soup on Halloween.

To be eligible to win a subscription to Kiwi Magazine, please share your memories of your favorite Halloween costume (for either you or one of your kids) by 11:59 PM PST on Monday, October 17th. We will choose 3 winners using Random.org by Tuesday, October 18th. Winners will have 3 days to respond and claim their prize, or it will be given to an alternate winner. U.S. addresses only. One entry per person. Good luck!

Recipe: Coconut-Pumpkin and Orzo Stew

  • Prep Time: 5 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 20 min(s)
  • Servings: 4, about 2 cups

A flavorful pumpkin soup


  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 ½ tsp. minced garlic, about 3 cloves
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. curry powder, or more to taste
  • 16 oz. canned pure pumpkin, or 4 cups diced fresh pumpkin
  • 32 oz. reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup orzo
  • ½ cup light unsweetened coconut milk
  • ¼ cup apple cider


  1. In a large saucepan or stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and celery and sauté until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder for about 1 minute, and then add the pumpkin and broth. Bring the soup to a boil, and simmer it for about 5 minutes. (If using fresh pumpkin, simmer it for 5 extra minutes, or until it is tender.)
  2. Using a handheld immersion blender or a standing blender, puree the soup. Return it to the pot, if necessary, bring it to a low boil, and add the orzo. Cook the orzo for 9 minutes or until it is tender, stirring frequently to keep it from sticking to the bottom.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk and apple cider. Taste it for seasoning and add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 24 hours (any longer and the orzo will absorb most of the liquid).

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9 Responses to “Coconut-Pumpkin and Orzo Stew”

  1. Holly Baker

    Favorite Halloween costume was at maybe age 10: with my sister, dressing like Rowan and Martin since Laugh-In was incredibly popular back then. We cracked ourselves up!

  2. Rachel @ Bakerita

    This looks so good!!
    Oh man…I don’t remember but my parents still joke about when I dressed up as a clown when I was 3. Apparently, it wasn’t my best look!

  3. hope

    I was Daisy and my best friend was Donald. We were about 4 and my mom made our costumes 🙂

  4. brenda

    Not the most creative, but my favorite costumes were the homemade witch and princess ones that my mom made when I was a toddler. I can’t imagine putting in that much effort (sewing, gluing, cutting, glittering), but will try my best.

  5. Deanna

    Last year, my daughter who was 3 years old dressed up like Minnie Mouse. She wore sparkly pink shoes and I used eyeliner to make a nose and some whiskers. Granted, I’m biased, but she was so cute!

  6. Kristen

    When I was in elementary school my mom made me a Cabbage Patch Kids costume. I had quilt batting wrapped around my arms and legs and panty hose pulled over the top. She even knitted me a wig of curly hair. Warmest costume I ever had. 🙂

  7. Kim

    My favorite costume was when I was a princess at 4 years old.