Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soups

Winter calls for soup. Since I love squash, I believe that winter calls for squash soup. Now, my husband would disagree, as he has a deep-seated hatred for squash. I, however, am not interested in letting his hatred for the most wonderful vegetable on this planet sway my beliefs and so I set about making Roasted Pumpkin Soup a few weeks back.

What is your favorite winter soup? Do you have a favorite squash?

Roasted Pumpkins

This soup would be perfect with any roasted squash but since I had two sugar pumpkins hanging out in my kitchen waiting for their day to shine, I stuck with pumpkin for this soup.

Pumpkins for Roasting

I must admit that I hate scraping out pumpkins. I hate the slimy feeling and how hard raw pumpkins are to cut. But I made it through and I'm glad I did because this soup was simply delicious and was well worth the time investment. You see when you have to roast pumpkins and then make a soup, it takes a bit of time. It's an investment that ends well though so I'd highly recommend taking the time to make this soup. However if you are short on time, you could buy pre-cut squash which roasts up a bit faster.

Pumpkin

I made a bit batch of this soup along with the recommended croutons. I had soup for lunch all week. It was a nice break in the middle of the workday, a nice reminder of home.

Steaming Pumpkin Soup

I highly recommend making this soup along with the croutons. Really, the soup is good but it is divine with the croutons.





Winter Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients

1 (4-pound) sugar baby pumpkin, cut in half and seeds removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup small-dice bacon
1/2 cup small-dice shallots
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup heavy cream
Parsley Croutons, for garnish (Recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/11152-parsley-croutons)

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Rub the cut halves of the pumpkin with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet, cut side up, and roast until fragrant, tender when pierced with a fork, and golden brown, about 70 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit on the baking sheet until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes.

2. Using a large spoon, scoop out the flesh, place it in a medium bowl (3 cups), and set it aside.

3. Place the bacon in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and cook until crispy and the fat is rendered, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a small paper-towel-lined plate; reserve for garnish.

4. Add shallots to the bacon fat, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add dry white wine and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, water, thyme, and reserved pumpkin and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine, then bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until flavors have melded, about 10 minutes.

5. Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap from the blender lid and covering the space with a kitchen towel. Place the blended soup in a clean saucepan. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with the reserved bacon and croutons.

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