Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Soup

More from the Hallow-tini party.

Since it was close to Halloween, we thought it might be nice to do a pumpkin soup using a hollowed out pumpkin as a soup tureen. Had never done it before so didn't know what to expect/ There were some things I did know, however.
  1. Jack o' lanterns taste disgusting
  2. Big pumpkins are hard to cut. Round shape, flat surface, sharpened metal?
  3. The flesh of big pumpkins won't be enough
  4. The flavors need to be "amped up" to make the thing edible.
  5. The seeds are huge
So, what to do? I was able to find a Boston Squash pumpkin which weighed about 12 lbs. A big boy. I also bought some "sugar pumpkins, because I figured their flesh would be good to eat.

I learned something weird - that when I was baking the pumpkin (to soften it after I had taken its top off and scooped the seeds/strings), it did indeed soften, but created about 6 cups of liquid. Of course I added that to the ingredients because it had great pumpkin flavor.

1 Large (12 lbs) eating pumpkin - like Boston.
3 2lb sugar pumpkins
1/2 head celery
2 onions (yellow, Spanish) finely chopped 1 Jalapeno minced
1 Tabasco chile (minced) could substitute Serrano
3T grapeseed oil (could use any vegetable oil, that's what I had handy)
1 1/2 t ground cumin
4 cans vegetable broth
3 bay leaves
1 can evaporated skim milk
Freshly chopped parsley and pumpkin seeds for garnish

Ciut the top off the large pumkin, remove strings, seeds, etc. and bake at 35o uncovered until soft (around 2 hours). Allow too cool. Liquid will collect in the hollowed shell.
meanwhile quarter the smaller pumpkins, remove strings and seeds. Steam the quarters with the strings seeds in the water. Strain the strings seeds and keep the liquid, discarding the strings/seeds. Mix the strained liquid with the liquid from the baked pumpkin. Add liquids to the stock.
Heat the oil and toast the cumin. Add the onions chile peppers, and celery and soften with the lid on (10 minutes) add the pumpkin, the stock and a bayleaf. Turn heat down and simmer fo5 another 20 minutes or so.
Puree the soup (after removing the bay leaf) iuntil smooth. Return to heatand bring just to the boil. Turn the heat off, stir in the evaporated milk. Do not reoil at this point.

Serve with a garnish of parsley and pumpkin seeds inside the warmed pumpkin shell

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