Sunday, December 06, 2009

Tis the season for soup!

As soon as it starts to get cold I crave soups. I have my old stand by soups that I enjoy making, but I was in the mood for something different. I was walking around Central Market when I saw this little pie pumpkin. I knew what it's fate would be....pumpkin bisque! I really enjoyed this soup. It was a light flavor, and wasn't to heavy. I think next time I might add some type of heat to it (maybe some red pepper flakes) just to wake up the flavor. Of course I'll also add the cardamom,,, I didn't have it on hand and I didn't feel like going back out to the grocery store.

5 pounds pumpkin, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (my pumpkin was about 3 pounds, so I used less of the broth- see below)
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
6 cups gluten-free chicken or vegetable broth (I used about 4 cups of regular chicken stock)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (didn't use this)
2/3 cup heavy cream or crème fraîche (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss pumpkin, onions and thyme in oil and spread mixture onto 1 or 2 large baking sheets. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 20 to 30 minutes until tender, stirring once or twice. Remove from oven and transfer to a large pot (at this point I removed the skin from the meat of the pumpkin because I wasn't sure if the skin was edible and the recipe didn't say). Add broth, wine and cardamom and simmer for 10 minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth, then transfer to a clean pot and check seasoning. When ready to serve, bring back to a simmer. Remove from heat and whisk in cream. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.

When life gives you a pumpkin, you need to make roasted pumpkin seeds! This was my first venture to make these and now I'm kicking myself for not making these before. They were super simple and very very yummy. Once you separate the seeds from the pumpkin goo, lay them out on a cookie sheet, sprinkle some EVOO on them and put them into the oven for 30 minutes at 300 degrees (mine only took about 25 minutes) I added some sea salt right after I took them out of the oven. They were soooo good! I finished my batch in less than 2 days :) Thankfully Jim didn't care for them... more for me. I saw recipes that said you can change up the flavor of the seeds by using cajun seasoning, Mexican style lime seasoning, or Italian seasoning but I'm okay with simple salt

I soaked them in the bowl while I cleaned off the pumpkin goo

After roasting, and before they went into ma belly!

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