December 9, 2009

Southwest pumpkin soup

This soup is a great way to use pie or sugar pumpkins, or the excess pumpkin puree you bought during the fall when it was on sale. It's a good combination of sweet and spicy. You can either roast a fresh pumpkin or use puree (just make sure to get plain pumpkin and NOT pie filling!). I absolutely love cooking with pumpkin and all winter squash once they are in season. Give this fall treat a try. It will make enough for about 4 servings.

Southwest pumpkin soup
1 small-medium pie/sugar pumpkin or 15-16 oz. can of puree  

1 tablespoon of finely diced onion
1 tablespoon of finely diced jalapeno, seeds and pith removed
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

3 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock for a vegetarian version)
1 cup of half n' half, cream, or milk

chopped cilantro for garnish
extra virgin olive oil

If using a fresh pumpkin, cut it into quarters, removing all of the seeds and strings. Drizzle with olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 375 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until tender. Let cool and then scrape the flesh away from the skin and puree in a food processor. If using canned pumpkin... skip that step.

In a large soup pot saute the onions and jalapenos in olive oil until soft and the onion is translucent. Add all remaining ingredients to the pot except for the cream (and cilantro). Warm the mixture and then slowly add the cream. Heat until warmed (do not boil). For a smoother soup, you can run the onions and jalapenos though a food processor with a bit of the stock or use an immersion blender.

Serve hot and top with cilantro. You may also top with roasted pumpkin seeds if you used a fresh pumpkin, as shown in the photo.

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