Thursday, November 12, 2009

spicy pumpkin soup for the soul

yesterday i made the ultimate fall-meets-winter/welcome to november meal. it included pumpkin soup (mysteriously spiced with indian flavors and fresh herbs) served with a side of warm vanilla-rosemary biscuits. yes, i said biscuits. it was my first ever attempt at biscuits and it won't be my last. of course i got all artsy with it and served the soup in the hollowed-out pumpkin shells. i'm tellin' you, this meal is a keeper. just a heads up: the soup recipe serves roughly 8 so anticipate leftovers!

spicy pumpkin soup recipe:


4 tbsp butter

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tbsp sage, chopped

1 tbsp thyme, chopped

1 tsp crushed red pepper (more or less depending on your preference for spice)

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp nutmeg

5 cups of chopped roasted pumpkin (one small/medium size baking pumpkin)

5 cups of roasted vegetable broth

2 cups of milk

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

salt and cracked pepper to taste

2-4 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish -optional


1. cut pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and strings, place face down on a tin-foil lined baking pan. bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. cool and scoop out the flesh. reserve pumpkin shells to use and bowls for finished soup.

2. brown butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. add onions and garlic and cook stirring often until soft and clear. add herbs and spices and stir for another minute.

3. add pumpkin and 5 cups of vegetable broth. stir together and bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. (note: this is when i started the biscuits).

4. transfer soup in batches, to a blender. cover tightly and blend until smooth. (i'm not joking about holding the cover tightly - i almost ended up with a pumpkin soup spackled kitchen.) return soup to saucepan.

5. with the soup on low heat add brown sugar and mix. slowly add milk and cream while stirring to incorporate. do a taste test and add salt and pepper (or more red pepper) if needed. let the soup rise to desired temperature and ladle soup into pumpkin "bowls", sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish.

* i adapted this recipe from "simply recipes" which was adapted from an oprah magazine recipe.

vanilla-rosemary biscuit recipe:
{ yields: 1 dozen biscuits }
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp cold butter
3/4 - 1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
1. preheat oven to 450 F
2. mix dry ingredients (including rosemary) by pulsing a few times in a food processor. cut the butter into small bits and pulse in with the dry ingredients until thoroughly blended.
3. transfer into a large bowl and using a large spoon stir in yogurt. {at this point i used my hands to knead the mixture into a ball. }then brake off evenly sized "chunks" from the dough ball and placed each "chunk" in its own compartment of a greased muffin tin.
4. put a bit of rosemary on the center of each dough ball to garnish and bake for 7-9 minutes until biscuits are golden brown. the sooner you serve the better, enjoy!
* this is a loosely adapted recipe from mark bittman's "how to cook everything". of course i spiced things up.

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