Yet Another pumpkin soup recipe. I know. The least original thing I could have come up with but it’s fitting right around this time of the year and I like it, so I made it and wanted to share it with you as well, in case you haven’t tried making it. It is really easy and a great starter course for that holiday supper many have been planning on. I have been a bit lazy lately taking photos of the process and rather photographing the final dishes, and I apologize, I’d try to be more diligent about it. I made an effort this time around and have a few more pictures that show better the making-of. Usually, when I cover a recipe in more detail, it doubles the time it requires, and making mistakes, oh the mistakes … like smelling something burning in the stove while the eye is pressed against the camera… and those greasy fingers click away. Yeah, it can be stressful and lately, I’ve got other sources of stress like selling my house for example, and that’s why a bit stingy with the pics. Soon I will be back on track with more photos and more frequent posts!
For this pumpkin recipe, I chose to work with some smaller more fun looking varieties of squash. And they have fun names too, sweet dumplings, carnivals and sugar pumpkins. They are all unique in texture and flavor but they all carry the traditional jack o lantern pumpkin spirit with pride. For this recipe, any sweet squash or pumpkin should do, so don’t sweat it if you can’t find these particular ones. I have also garnished the soup with a little lemon and cumin seed cream which worked really well. I didn’t have creme fraiche or sour cream which would have worked beautifully as well.
Ingredients (makes about 6 servings):
1.5 lbs roasted pumpkin pulp
2 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
1/2 onion small dice
1 celery stalk small dice
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Splash of lemon juice
Cumin “Sour” Cream:
200 ml heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
2 tbs of lemon juice
Salt to taste
To make the soup. One of the easiest and most effective ways to develop awesome flavor in vegetables has to be by roasting. To simplify my life I chose to roast the squashes. Cut them in half. Spoon the seeds out and place on a cookie tray. You can add a few of the seeds as well and roast them together.
Place the tray in the oven, set to 400F, and roast for about one hour. 20 minutes before finishing, brush the flesh of the squashes with vegetable oil to help caramelize the exposed area. The roasting times here are an approximation. Roast until happy basically. The smell of roasted squash should be a good indicator of when they’re done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool off for about 30 minutes. As you can see, this soup will require at least a couple of hours to make, so plan accordingly. It stays in the fridge well, so it can be made a day ahead no problem.
Once cool, spoon the pulp out of the skins and reserve. In a deep pan over medium heat, sweat the onion and celery in some butter, until translucent, add some salt while the onion/celery cooks. Add the pumpkin pulp to the pan. Add the chicken stock and the water and simmer for about 10 minutes.
This step is just so everything can be hydrated by the liquids and get you ready for the blender step. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down for 5 minutes. If using a regular blender (I use a stick blender otherwise known as immersion blender, cleaner, safer in my opinion), be careful if the chunky soup is too hot, cover your hand with a kitchen towel over the blender lid and press hard. Pulse it a few times… then let it blend away for a few minutes until silky. Adjust seasoning at this stage. Salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, about a Tbsp of butter, a splash of lemon juice.
Adjust the liquid as well. If it’s too runny, you can reduce it by placing the soup back in the pan and cooking off some of the liquid. If its too thick you can add water until you’re happy with the thickness. I didn’t strain mine, but if you really want that super silky finish, go for it, get a really fine strainer or drum sieve and get to work, it will be worth it.
To make the cream garnish. Whip the heavy cream. I did this by hand because I was using too little heavy cream for my stand mixer to even notice. But it’s a good work out, welcome during these high caloric intake festivities. When nearing stiff peaks, add some lemon juice, some salt and the cumin seeds (to toast them, just place them in a small skillet over medium heat until they darken and release a wonderful aroma) Continue to whisk until you get stiff peaks. Stop. It’s done. See, that wasn’t too hard.
To serve. Well, extremely simple. Add soup to bowl and scoop and quenelle of the cream using a couple of small spoons. You could warm the spoons in hot water before handling the cream. It will make it a lot easier and the quenelle will have a nice a satiny look to it.. that’s if you wanna get all fancy and stuff, if not… just spoon it the best way you can over the soup. It will be just as delicious. Add some of the toasted pumpkin seeds over the soup as well as a few more cumin seeds. And that’s it. Hope all of you are doing well, take good care!