October 29, 2010

Roasted Sugar Pumpkin and Apple Soup

I made this soup earlier this week with sugar pumpkins from a farmers' market. The recipe is simple and can be easily tailored to your own flavor preferences!

2 small sugar pumpkins (about 2 lbs. each), stems removed, cut in half, and pulp removed
1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 clove of fresh garlic
1 medium apple (I used a Macoun, you could use a Granny Smith if you want more of a tart flavor), cored and diced
6 c. low-sodium chicken stock
few dashes of nutmeg
few dashes of ginger
salt and pepper to taste
plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Toss the pumpkin halves with the olive oil and place the pumpkin halves in a pan (you may need two, depending on their size). I like to place them cut side down. Roast until they can be easily pierced with a knife (about 45 mins). Remove them from the oven, turn the oven off, and let them cool.

2. While the pumpkins are cooling, heat the 2 Tbsp. oil in a large pot. Add the onions, and saute them until they are translucent.

3. While the onions are cooking, if the pumpkins are cool enough, remove their skins and dice them.

4. Add the diced pumpkin, garlic, and apple to the pot. Add in the spices. You may use cinnamon in addition to (or instead of) the nutmeg and ginger if you would like. Allspice, mace, cloves, or curry powder would also be great additions!

5. Pour in the chicken stock, and bring the mixture to a boil.

6. Once it's boiling, turn down the heat. Let the soup simmer for 45 mins. to an hour to let the flavors meld together.

7. Remove the pan from the heat, and use an immersion blender to turn the chunky mixture into a lovely, velvety one! Your pot should be less than halfway full, so that you don't splash yourself with the very hot soup. If your pot is not big enough, pour the soup into a larger vessel. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a masher instead. You can also use a blender, but you will have to do it in batches. Do not fill your blender more than halfway! Hot liquids will expand too much, and the top will fly off. You don't want to get burned!

8. Put the blended soup back on the stove, and bring it back up to temperature. Add salt and pepper to taste.

9. Ladle into bowls. For a fancier presentation, swirl in a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream. Serve and enjoy!

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