Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pumpkin Soup

Technically, it is fall although it has felt like summer this past week with record-breaking temperatures. So, it seems a bit strange to post a pumpkin recipe. But, whether it feels like it or not, it is Fall. The candy-lined aises and pumpkins tell me so.

I'm not sure if it is because I've lived most of my life in Southern California, but I really haven't had all that much experience with pumpkins. I never even ate pumpkin pie until my sister's mother-in-law introduced this amazing Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Pie recipe to our family when I was in college. Most of my experience with pumpkins was the one day a year that we carved them for Halloween. However, I do remember the pumpkin soup I tried the one year that I lived outside of California in southern France.  I spent a weekend with Delphine, a French friend, and a group of her friends from school. We stayed at someone's country house, and few of Delphine's friends created quite the feast for us one evening. The most impressive item on the menu? Pumpkin soup that was served out of a hollowed-out pumpkin. The soup was great and the presentation was very pretty.

Lately, I've been trying to make soup once a week. This week I decided to try my hand at Pumpkin Soup. I don't have it in me to carve out a pumpkin or to roast fresh pumpkin -- certainly not in this heat! So, I used canned pumpkin in my soup, and it tasted just fine. As with most things, I imagine that fresh would be better than canned but I think I created a tasty soup nevertheless. I used this recipe as inspiration, and this is what I ended up doing. My two-year old loved it and said, "You can make this again and again and again."

Pumpkin Soup

2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 large can (30 ounces) pure pumpkin
4 cups water
5 teaspoons Better than Bouillon Chicken Base
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup half-and-half
  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan or stockpot. Cook onions in the butter for about 3 minutes until soft. Add garlic, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper and cook about 1 minute.
  2. Add canned pumpkin, water, chicken base and stir to combine. Add bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove bay leaf. (You don't want anyone chomping down on bay leaf or bay leaf bits!)
  4. Transfer soup to a blender and blend until smooth. (You don't have to do this, but it does create a smooth soup. If you have a picky eater who doesn't like to see onion in his food, this camoflages it.)
  5. Return soup to clean pot. Add half-and-half and reheat. Taste for seasonings. If the soup is too thick for your tastes, thin it out with additional chicken broth.
Looking for more Pumpkin Recipes? Check out this recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake or stop by Life As Mom for Ultimate Recipe Swap.

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