Monday, January 18, 2010

Pumpkin Soup!

I decided this weekend that I needed to make soup. Maybe because I was fighting a cold yet again, but it's cold, soup is hot -- and there you have it.

I stole my sister's soup cookbook and saw MANY that I will definitely try (um... ginger leek soup, anyone?). Then I remembered that I have three cans of pumpkin puree in my pantry from Thanksgiving. Since I first started going to my squeeze's family Thanksgiving in Champaign, Ill., three years ago, I have been the designated pumpkin-pie-maker.

Due to work and some unforeseen circumstances, our trip was axed the morning we were supposed to leave, and the pies never got made (by me, anyway). I didn't know if pumpkin soup existed, but certainly there is butternut squash soup, and it's practically the same thing, right?

A quick Google search and I was happy with one of the first I found. A good friend just got out of the hospital after a wicked Penicillin reaction during dental surgery (talk about kicking someone while they're down), so I decided to double the batch. Holy hell did it make a lot of soup. Around 20 cups to be exact. That had to be pureed one at a time. That is how said squeeze, me, our two guests, recently-sprung-from-the-hospital-friend (and likely her husband) and yet another sick friend got dinner last night. Buyza Soup Kitchen was born.

Without further ado, here is the recipe (a single batch version, which has 7-10 servings). I'll list the recipe as I found it, then tell you what I added to it at the end. My guess is, you could throw about anything in this soup and it would be delicious.

6 c. vegetable stock
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 c. pumpkin puree
chopped fresh parsley
1 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 c. whipping cream
5 whole peppercorns

1. Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic and peppercorns in a pot. (I think next time I will probably saute the onions and garlic in a bit of oil and then add everything else...).

2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.

3. Puree the soup (I went with a blender) in small batches - 1 cup at a time (toward then end of my 4,000 cups, I was doing 2 or 3 at a time, but I do think some chunks got through). Some of the people who reviewed the recipe online said they did it right in the pot with a hand mixer too.

4. Return to pan and bring to a boil again.Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes uncovered.

5. Stir in heavy cream. After I made the soup, I realized coconut milk would probably be DELICIOUS in this - and make it vegan. I think I'll try it next time just to see.

6. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

NOW for the additions, I made....

I put in extra salt and pepper -- my guess is, if you don't have the peppercorns, obviously you can just use ground pepper.

I also added touches of garlic powder, cinnamon and ginger powder. I think next time I might add some curry too and see how that goes!

The thyme I bought also came with sage, so I put a bunch of that in, not to mention far more thyme than the recipe asked for.

I served it with some French bread -- a good crusty baguette would actually be great with this though.

I just ate it for dinner AGAIN and, after a day to hang out, it's definitely a little spicier than it was last night, but still really good.

For some reason, the idea of making the effort to puree a soup always turned me off from doing it. I am no longer afraid (even 20 cups later). I'm so glad my laziness didn't stop me from discovering this soup!


amy said...

this was so good. it was worth spilling it all over my shirt.

can't wait to try it at home!

Kirsten said...

Thanks! You are SOUP-er!