16 October 2012

A RHAPSODY IN ORANGE - PUMPKIN SOUP


PUMPKIN SOUP
Autumn, and the shops and markets are full of the most beautiful colourful pumpkins.  They come in so many shapes and sizes and are just so great to look at. And surprising to learn that  apparently they are not vegetable but fruit...? It's strange as we tend to think of fruit as sweet, but it has to do with the fact that they are fleshy and grow around a plant seed. It would definitely explain their vibrant colours. I lately came across this so called 'turban pumpkin'. It is so unusual with the additional stripy part on top (or is it the bottom?). Still googling what to make with it, but I am in no rush, as it's nicely decorating our kitchen. 

PUMPKIN SOUP
Orange always attracts me. The colour is so happy and vibrant, and pumpkin soup makes no exception. But it's not just the colour, this soup is also so nice in taste and has a great thick and silky consistency. Try sprinkled with grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil: if left on top, rather than stirred in, each spoon full has a variety of flavours hitting the taste buds, from the spicy cheese to the nutty olive oil, followed by the sweet pumpkin flavour. A combination not to be left untasted...    :-) 

Source: unknown, from Italy
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Makes 4 portions: 
1 large slice of an orange French pumpkin (app. 1.3 kg with skin, deseeded) 
- if using a different pumpkin, use an app. ratio (peeled and deseeded pumpkin): pumpkin:leek:potatoes = 3:1:1)
1 leek, app. 350g
2 potatoes, app. 350g
30g butter
250ml cream
250ml water
1 1/2 to 2 vegetable stock cubes
Optional: extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese
PUMPKIN SOUP
Peel the pumpkin: I think the fastest and safest way to remove the hard skin is to first cut the large piece in half, then into smaller slices following the natural division line. Each slice is cut into smaller pieces. The smaller pieces can then be safely placed on the chopping board, skin side facing sideways, and placing them in the best, and most stable,  way so that the skin side almost becomes a straight edge. Following the slight pumpkin rounding, the skin can then be safely removed by cutting downwards. Cut the pieces into app. 2-3 cm cubes. 
PUMPKIN SOUPPUMPKIN SOUP
PUMPKIN SOUPPUMPKIN SOUP
Remove the dark green part of the leek, then make a small incision along the leek and remove the outer layer. Wash thoroughly under running water. Cut into app. 1 cm thick rounds. 
PUMPKIN SOUPPUMPKIN SOUP
Peel the potatoes, then cut into app. 2cm cubes. 
PUMPKIN SOUP
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and cook until softened, app. 8-10 min. 
PUMPKIN SOUPPUMPKIN SOUP
Add the pumpkin and potato cubes, stir well and leave for a further few minutes. 
PUMPKIN SOUP
Add the cream and water, crumble in the vegetable stock and stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover with a lid and simmer until the pumpkin and potatoes are soft. 
PUMPKIN SOUPPUMPKIN SOUP
Puree the soup with an immersion blender, then check once more for seasoning. Serve hot, sprinkled with grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. 
PUMPKIN SOUP

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A RHAPSODY IN ORANGE - PUMPKIN SOUP

Pumpkin SoupPumpkin SoupPumpkin Soup

Makes 4 portions: 

1 large slice of an orange French pumpkin (app. 1.3 kg with skin, deseeded) 
- if using a different pumpkin, use an app. ratio (peeled and deseeded pumpkin): pumpkin:leek:potatoes = 3:1:1)
1 leek, app. 350g
2 potatoes, app. 350g
30g butter
250ml cream
250ml water
1 1/2 to 2 vegetable stock cubes
Optional: extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese

Peel the pumpkin: I think the fastest and safest way to remove the hard skin is to first cut the large piece in half, then into smaller slices following the natural division line. Each slice is cut into smaller pieces. The smaller pieces can then be safely placed on the chopping board, skin side facing sideways, and placing them in the best, and most stable,  way so that the skin side almost becomes a straight edge. Following the slight pumpkin rounding, the skin can then be safely removed by cutting downwards. Cut the pieces into app. 2-3 cm cubes. Remove the dark green part of the leek, then make a small incision along the leek and remove the outer layer. Wash thoroughly under running water. Cut into app. 1 cm thick rounds. Peel the potatoes, then cut into app. 2cm cubes. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and cook until softened, app. 8-10 min. Add the pumpkin and potato cubes, stir well and leave for a further few minutes. Add the cream and water, crumble in the vegetable stock and stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover with a lid and simmer until the pumpkin and potatoes are soft. Puree the soup with a hand blender, then check once more for seasoning. Serve hot, sprinkled with grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. 
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