Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Roasted Pumpkin Soup!!

Welcome Homegaters!

I love Fall for many reasons. But one of the main reasons why I love Fall - besides football - is because of pumpkins. I dig cooking with pumpkins. One of my favorite dishes to make is roasted pumpkin soup. There is nothing more comforting than coming home on a chilly day to a hot bowl of roasted pumpkin soup.

I was cruising around Whole Foods the other day and came across a most sincere display of pumpkins. The Great Pumpkin would be proud. I felt the need to get one and make soup for my gameday gang this Sunday.

I like to roast the pumpkin because it intensifies the flavor. It also makes it easier to remove the skin. Pre-heat the oven to 350-degrees. Cut the pumpkin into quarters, place on a sheet pan, drizzle with a little olive oil and roast for about an hour. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and let cool. Once it's cool, you can easily remove the skin and cut the flesh into chunks.

One of the many nice things about my roasted pumpkin soup is that it's low calorie, yet tastes really decadent. It's all about the veggies and spices. I use the usual mirepoix (onions, celery, carrots) along with garlic, ginger, sage and 1 medium-size cayenne pepper (because you know I'm a fan of all things spicy). Once it is thoroughly cooked through, I add the pumpkin and vegetable stock and simmer for about 30 minutes. Once that's done, I run the soup through the blender in batches (see caution below) to puree it. I return the soup to the pot, check my seasoning and adjust if necessary.

You can make this ahead of time and freeze it. All you'll have to do on gameday is reheat and serve in bowls or mugs.

Pumpkin Soup
(makes 4-6 servings)

3 lb pumpkin, roasted, peeled and cut into small pieces
1/2 large onion, minced
1 1/2 stalks of celery, minced
1/2 carrot, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 inch knob of ginger, grated                      
4 sage leaves or 2 tsp dried sage
2 tbs olive oil
32 oz low sodium vegetable broth
1 cayenne pepper, minced (optional)
pumpkin seeds (optional)
salt & pepper to taste


1.  Heat 2 tbs olive oil and add the onions, celery, carrot, garlic, ginger, sage and cayenne (if using). Sautee until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are softened.

2.  Add the pumpkin chunks and the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.

3.  Place soup in the blender in small batches and puree. (Caution: to avoid any mishaps with hot liquid, fill your blender only 1/4 full at a time, remove the middle cap from the lid and cover the top with a towel). Return the puree to the pot and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. If you feel the soup is too think, you can add a little more stock or water to reach the consistency you like. Heat through one more time. Pour into bowls or mugs. Top with a couple of pumpkin seeds (optional) and enjoy!

So there you have it. See you next Wednesday!
Enjoy the games!

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