Friday, November 29, 2013

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

We have now made this soup not once, but twice. I think it's high time I posted the recipe.
I love love love this soup. Joey does too, amazingly. The flavors come together so well, and the texture is really velvety. It would work well with any winter squash - pumpkin, butternut squash, acorn squash, etc. If you're using pumpkin, make sure to use a pie or sugar pumpkin, and not the regular carving kind - it won't be as flavorful. We used a pie pumpkin that was just under 4 lbs, unpeeled and with the stem.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Adapted from these two Alton Brown recipes
Yield: 6-8 servings

1 large winter squash, ~3.5-4.5 lbs, yielding ~6 cups of roasted flesh
Olive oil, salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 large shallots, diced
1 small apple, peeled, cored and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp herbs de provence
4 cups vegetable broth
1-2 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup cream or milk (I usually use almond milk)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Cut your squash in half, and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp. Cut each half into quarters, or other amount of manageable-sized pieces (if that makes any sense at all). Rub the exposed flesh with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put on the baking sheet, and roast for 45-60 minutes, until flesh is soft and can be pierced with a fork, and is starting to caramelize on the edges. Put aside and let cool enough to handle.

In a large stock pot, melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add shallots and apple, and cook until soft and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. While cooking, start scraping out the roasted pumpkin from the skin, putting in a separate bowl. Once the shallots and apple are cooked, add garlic, ginger and herbs de provence, and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add vegetable broth, scrape the bottom of the pan to dislodge any browned bits. Add the roasted pumpkin, honey, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Let simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

Take the pot off the heat, and add in the goat cheese. Use an immersion blender, or a regular blender in batches, to puree the soup. I like the immersion blender, since it makes the soup smooth without being completely textureless. Once it's nice and smooth, put it back on the heat, add the cream or half and half, and let simmer until it is all heated through. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve hot, with toast or grilled cheese. Top with additional cream or goat cheese, if desired.