Friday, November 18, 2011

Secret Weapon #2 Pumpkin Soup


    As promised, a Pumpkin Soup post in time for Thanksgiving!!!

    This Soup. This Soup. Ooooooooooh MAMA, this SOUP. It's about bloody time I posted about it :) It is, in fact, one of my most favorite dishes to make, and one of the most requested dishes in my repertoire :) This Pumpkin Soup, like the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake I posted about awhile back, has the distinction of being one of my culinary SECRET WEAPONS. This soup is money in the bank :) I've served it to the pickiest of picky eaters and they practically lick the bowl clean :)

   However, because I am the product of the cooks I grew up with, I cannot and will not take all the credit. I first had this soup a very long time ago when I was just a wee LynnieBee. We had gone to Albany for Thanksgiving at my Uncle Bob and Aunt Emily's house. I was probably 9 or 10. My Aunt Emily served this Pumpkin Soup as the first course of the Thanksgiving Dinner, and everyone pretty much lost their minds. Smooth, Rich, Golden, Creamy, it's like drinking distilled Autmn :) My Mom got the recipe from my Aunt that day, and it has been part of our Thanksgiving (and occasionally Christmas) Feast ever since.

   A few years ago, I got tired of waiting for the Holidays to come around, and started making this soup for other occasions: birthdays, dinner get-togethers, or really any time in the dark months of the year when I had the ingredients on hand and was in the mood for it or someone asked for it :) To me, this is an Autumn/Winter/Holiday soup through and through, but if the urge strikes you in June, grab some canned pumpkin and rock it out, no judging ;)

  This one won't let you down. Ever. I promise :)

Pumpkin Soup
(originally from Aunt Emily, inherited by Carolyn, and put forth by me, Lynn:)
 - 7 tbsp butter (Yes, there is approximately one stick of butter in this soup. Yes, I am okay with that. Keep in mind, that is the amount of butter in the entire batch.When you look at it on a per serving basis, it's no more butter than you might spread on your toast in the morning. If it really bugs you, you can switch out about half of the butter for EVOO, but there will be a drastic difference in flavor)
 - 6 scallions/green onions, coarsely chopped
-  1 onion, sliced (you'll be straining out the solids, so don't fuss over chopping it finely, a quick rough chop is all you need)
 - 3 cups pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!) or 2 1/2 lbs pumpkin
 - 6 cups chicken stock (broth is fine too)
 - 1/2 tsp. salt
 - 3 tbsp. flour
 - 1 cup light cream or half&half
 - thickly sliced crusty bread or croutons for topping 

- Melt four (4) tablespoons butter in a large saucepan. Saute scallions and onion until soft and golden.
- Add pumpkin, chicken stock (or broth) and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let simmer for about 10 minutes or until pumpkin is soft.
- Strain solids from soup with a slotted spoon or or run soup (carefully!) through a mesh strainer and return to pot.
Mix flour with two (2) tablespoons butter (I usually mash them together with a fork) and gradually whisk into soup.

- Bring soup back to a boil, whisking occasionally, until soup thickens.

- Correct the seasoning and then add the light cream or half&half and the remaining tablespoon of butter. (oh, and if you feel bad leaving that one lone tablespoon of butter in the wrapper, toss it in there, no one will complain ;)

- Serve garnished with cubed fresh crusty bread or croutons (my personal favorite kind of bread for this is Rosemary Olive Oil, but any kind of good fresh crusty bread is fine)
 NOTES: 1.These photos were taken at our October Book Club Meeting (hence the gorgeous tablescape and other deliciousness present on the table.Thank you Merlyn for the loan of the lovely Pumpkin Tureen!!!) A member was supposed to be bringing homemade bread, but she had a last minute emergency and was unable to make it, so the soup appears here unadorned. Believe me, as wonderful as the croutons are, the soup does not need them, it's equally delicious plain :)

                 2. If you want to give the soup a bit of a kick, add a few dashes of hot sauce or a little curry powder.

                 3. As I said above, if the amount of butter in this recipe is off-putting, you can swap out the first four (4) tbsp of butter for an equivalent amount of extra virgin olive oil, and omit the cream from the end of the recipe, but please know the taste will be affected. It won't taste bad, just different.

                 4. This soup can be made ahead of time. If you make it the night before, just stop before you add the cream and last tbsp. of butter. When ready for service, reheat and stir in cream and the last tbsp of butter.

                5. This recipe is for a single batch, when serving it for holiday gathering, we double this recipe.

Taste this and fall madly in love, it's that simple :)
Happy Thanksgiving, Foodie Friends, I Love Ya :)

Lynn :)


Mr Lonely said...

walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =D

Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

Maria @ Orchard Bloom said...

your serving pot is so cute!!

a. maren said...

ooo so creamy and good! looks wonderful! i totally love your pumpkin dish too! :)