Dear Heloise:

Could you please give me a recipe for pumpkin soup? I had some a couple of years ago around Thanksgiving, and it was delicious.

Rob Landin, via e-mail

Pumpkin soup says "pull up a chair and have a sip." Here's the recipe from my latest book, "In the Kitchen With Heloise," and I'd be happy to share it with you.

PUMPKIN SOUP

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1 large onion, chopped

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon mace

3 pounds pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks

1 pound new potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks

4 chicken bouillon cubes

4 cups water

1 teaspoon hot-pepper sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, thyme and mace. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, then add the pumpkin, potatoes and parsnips. Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften.

Mix the bouillon cubes in 4 cups of water (follow directions on bouillon cubes jar) and pour over the vegetable mixture; add hot-pepper sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetable chunks are cooked.

Spoon the mixture into a blender a little at a time and puree until smooth. Put the pureed mixture into a pan when the blender is full, and reheat. Bon appetit!

Dear Heloise:

Last year, while cleaning the turkey the night before Thanksgiving, I was wondering what to wrap the bird up in. I used a turkey-size oven bag, sealed it and placed it in the fridge until morning. When I stuffed the bird and placed it in the oven, I used a new bag to be on the safe side.

Kim Mahoney, Jenison, Mich.

Dear Heloise:

While cooking, always carefully check your spices before adding them to your food by pouring them in your hand or measuring spoon. Once when I was preparing a recipe at the stove, I poured the spice into my hand and discovered weevils were in my spice. Imagine the disaster I would have had if I had poured it directly in my huge pot of homemade soup.

Gale Laure, Conroe, Tex.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state when faxing or using e-mail. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.(c)2002, King Features Syndicate