CHEF DEL COOK WINTER PUMPKIN SOUP
Recipe by CHEF DEL COOK [separator type=”thin”]
Aprés ski, nothing warms and caresses the inner body like a well made winter pumpkin soup does. Known as Kabucha in Japan, this vegetable is surprisingly versatile and is the perfect foil for spices like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and vanilla. The key to making pumpkin flavour to stand out is slowly roast it in its own skin. This not only softens the texture but removes moisture which provides the deep, subtle flavours great soups always seem to have. In this pumpkin soup recipe we add roasted and cooled pumpkin to a classic stock base. The result is a luxurious velvety soup that slowly releases a subtle spice flavour making for a hearty and satisfying lunch or beginning of a relaxing Aprés ski evening.
Cut the pumpkins in half with a large knife with a strong blade. Using a large metal spoon, scrape the seeds and stringy interior out. Season the insides of the pumpkin half with brown sugar or maple syrup along with a large knob of butter. A light sprinkling of sea salt will assist in the roasting as well as helping define the flavour. Roast with the cut side down on silicon mats or parchment paper. Roasting at lower temperatures ( 325F 165 C) allows the pumpkin to roast fully without adding too much caramel colour – meaning your pumpkin desserts will be more orange than brown. The pumpkin is fully roasted when light pressing reveals a soft interior. Allow to cool completely before scooping the cooked interior away from the skin. This can be done well in advance and frozen until ready to use.[separator type=”double”]
- 3 Carrots split in 4
- 2 Onions quartered
- 1 Leek cut in 2cm pieces
- 1 Celeriac Root or 2 stalks of Celery in 2 cm pieces
- 3 fresh plum tomatoes halved
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 Bay (Laurel) Leaf
- 3 fresh parsley stems
- 3 fresh thyme stems
- sea salt 6 g (2 tbsp)
- 6 whole black peppercorns (toasted is better)
- 3 litres filtered or spring water
Winter Pumpkin Soup
- 1 large Onion peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 800g flesh from baked Pumpkin (Kabucha)
- 2 litre vegetable stock ( or chicken stock)
- pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
- 30 ml cream (substitute with a creamy yogurt for a lower fat option)
Vegetable Stock Recipe
- Peel, wash and cut vegetables
- Tie together parsley, thyme and laurel to form a bouquet garni. Enclose peppercorns in a muslim cloth pouch.
- Place the vegetables, bouquet garni and peppercorn pouch in a stock pot. Cover with cold water.
- Bring to a boil over high heat. When the water boils turn down the heat to medium low and skim any scum on the surface. Periodically repeat the skimming process.
- Cook for 30 minutes then remove the pot from the heat and allow to sit for a further 20 minutes. This helps the sediment settle to the bottom resulting in a clearer stock.
- With a ladle gently remove the liquid and pour through a strainer (chinois) leaving the vegetables behind.
Winter Pumpkin Soup Recipe
- Sweat the sliced onion in olive oil or butter on low heat until translucent (about 20 minutes)
- Add the roasted Pumpkin flesh and cover with vegetable stock.
- Bring to a boil, skim and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 40 minutes.
- Once the vegetables are cooked transfer the contents to a food processor and blend to a smooth and even paste. Add more vegetable stock if the mixture is too thick and season to taste. Alternatively use a [easyazon_link asin=”B00AN9UJ68″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”apple0c4-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Cuisinart CSB-79 Smart Stick 2-Speed 200-watt Immersion Hand Blender with Attachments[/easyazon_link] to blend the soup in the stock pot.
- Ladle the hot soup into wide-mouth bowls or cups.
Winter Pumpkin Soup is quite versatile and could be made autumn spicey or even smokey. Another entirely different approach would be to add sautéed porcini mushroom compliment the sweetness of the soup with woodsy and earthy flavors. For a luxurious pairing try grating fresh truffles over the soup as it is served. Finally a light drizzle of walnut or White Truffle Oil would add both flavor and visual appeal to the surface of the soup.