Sunday, October 30, 2011

My First...

Because our trip to the pumpkin patch left me with far more pumpkin than is required for a pie, we decided to celebrate our pumpkiny day with an attempt at pumpkin soup for dinner! I did a little reconnaissance on my favorite foodie web sites, but all the recipes that came up for 'pumpkin soup' either required too fancy of ingredients for my usual stand-by supplies, or they leaned towards a sweet soup, with apple, cinnamon, etc., and neither direction was one I wanted to take. SO I turned from the computer, donned my apron, and put together my own version... and it was good! And here's the kicker: I actually took notes as I made it, in the hopes that it would be good and we'd want to make it again. Do you know what that means? I can also share it!

My First Pumpkin Soup

1 medium sugar pie pumpkin, halved, seeded, and roasted
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
olive oil
broth (either veggie or chicken)
shot of bourbon
approx. 1 cup shredded munster cheese
approx. 1 TBS corn starch
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of paprika
1 tsp(ish) chili powder

black pepper and cayenne pepper for garnish
crusty bread

In a large pot, saute chopped veggies and garlic cloves in olive oil and a pinch of salt until veggies start to soften and caramelize. Deglaze with bourbon, then add broth, enough to cover veggies by about an inch. Simmer on med/hi until veggies are tender enough to smash with the back of a spoon. Add nutmeg, paprika, and chili powder. Toss shredded cheese with corn starch. Scoop roasted pumpkin out of shells and add to veggies and broth. In batches (being very careful, and using a towel as a lid to prevent pressure buildup explosions), puree veggies in batches in a blender until very smooth. Pour puree back in to pot and bring back up to heat, probably on medium. Slowly add cheese by the handful, stirring until completely melted between each addition. Once cheese had been completely incorporated, turn off the heat and serve immediately, garnishing with some freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of cayenne, if desired. *this makes a huge batch of soup, but all the ingredients freeze well, so I'm assuming the soup itself will freeze well too, and most of my leftovers are sitting in the freezer as I type this!
**I have since thawed and reheated said leftovers, and the soup did NOT freeze well due to the cheese in the recipe. The dairy broke, making the texture curdled and coarse. After much work, I was able to get the texture back to it's creamy consistency, but would NOT add cheese to the portion being frozen in the future. Leave the cheese out, freeze, then add cheese to soup as you reheat. Problem solved.

This soup turned out to be a great first attempt at a recipe that I'd always wanted to try, but could never find. I hope you try- and enjoy- My First Pumpkin Soup!

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