SPICED PUMPKIN SOUP
From The Soup Club Cookbook
You can substitute any variety of winter squash for the pumpkins or try mixing in sweet potatoes. To finish, consider stirring in a spoonful of pesto made with thyme, parsley, and pepitas to add color and to balance the sweetness of the pumpkins.
MAKES 8 QUARTS
- 1/4 cup Stew Leonard’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 tbs. Cumin Seeds
- 3 tbs. Mustard Seeds
- 4 medium Yellow Onions, roughly chopped
- 3 tbs. Fresh Ginger, chopped and peeled
- 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- 5 tsp. Salt, plus more to taste
- 4 small Pumpkins, (6 to 8 inches in diameter) or 10 lbs. (about 34 cups) peeled and roughly chopped
- 1-1/2 lbs. Baby Carrots, roughly chopped
- 1-1/2 cups Powdered Milk
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 4 Demi Baguettes
- 2 cups Creme Fraiche
- 2 cups Pepitas, (raw green pumpkin seeds), toasted
- 1 bunch Thyme
- Heat the oil in the stockpot over medium heat and add the cumin and mustard seeds. Toast the seeds until fragrant and lightly browned, being careful not to burn them, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions, ginger, cinnamon, and salt and saute until the onions are soft, about 7 minutes.
- Put the chopped pumpkin and carrots in the stockpot with 3 quarts of cold water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer, loosely covered, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Remove the soup from the heat. Stir in the powdered milk, and puree with an immersion blender. Add water if needed for the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with a demi-baguette and one quarter of the crème fraîche, pepitas, and thyme.
Peeling pumpkins is easier than you might think: After washing the pumpkins thoroughly, dry them well and place on a cutting board. You want to place a kitchen towel under the pumpkin that you’re about to slice to hold it in place. Turn the pumpkin on its side and slice ½ inch off each end. Grasping the pumpkin firmly, use a knife or a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to remove the skin. Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, and roughly chop.