After washing the outside of the pumpkin to remove any dirt, start by breaking off the stem, and then cut the pumpkin in half with a strong, sharp knife to expose the seed cavity.
Using a large spoon, scoop, or other metal kitchen utensil with a sharp edge, scrape out the "guts," leaving only the firm pumpkin flesh. Be sure to separate the seeds for toasting later!
Place the pumpkin halves upside down in a glass baking dish and add about a quarter inch of water to the bottom of the dish. Bake at 350 degrees until the pumpkin is soft (a fork will easily pierce the pumpkin skin, which will have started to brown), about 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the size and density of the pumpkin.
The pumpkin will now easily scrape right off the pumpkin skin with a spoon. Scoop all of the pumpkin into a bowl and use an immersion blender to puree the pumpkin until smooth.
Finally, measure and package the pumpkin puree in freezer-safe containers (I prefer freezer bags because they can freeze flat and are more air tight, but plastic containers will also work).
You now have a freezer stocked with fresh frozen pumpkin for winter soups, breads, and baking!
As I mentioned, you can use this same process to prepare and freeze winter squash. Not only is it a great way to preserve the harvest, but it is also a huge time saver, especially if you plan to do a lot of cooking and baking with squash or pumpkin during the winter months. Just the other night, I pulled out the last two bags of butternut squash from last year and made a batch of this soup
for our lunches this week in only 15 minutes (side note: I added a couple of pinches of cinnamon and cardamom to the soup this time and it was delicious!).