Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Sage Garnish
|Cookbook Title: Homegrown: Pure and Simple|
I love this smooth, creamy pumpkin soup, made without a drop of cream
Photo courtesy of Susie Cushner.
One 3-pound pumpkin, or hubbard squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 sweet onion such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, cut into ½ inch thick slices
6 cloves garlic, split lengthwise
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
3 cardamom pods or ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 cinnamon sticks
½ small red thai or jalapeno chili, seeded and thinly sliced
4 cups homemade or canned vegetable or chicken stock
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage leaves, plus 12 large whole leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. In a large bowl, toss the pumpkin cubes with the olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Spread the pumpkin evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, or until nearly tender when pricked with a fork.
3. Meanwhile, coat the onion slices and the garlic with the 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil. When the pumpkin is ready, make room on the baking sheet for the onion and garlic, and return the pan to the oven for about 15 minutes longer, or until the pumpkin and onion are tender. Keep an eye on the garlic and turn, if necessary, to keep it from turning dark. Transfer all the vegetables to a large saucepan.
4. Add the cardamom, cinnamon, chili and stock to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pumpkin cubes begin to dissolve in the liquid.
5. Remove the cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods (if used) and discard. Working in batches if necessary, transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
6. Return the blended soup to the saucepan and stir in the sliced sage leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
7. In a small saucepan or sauté pan, heat the remaining ¼ cup grapeseed oil until very hot (it should be about 350). Add the whole sage leaves and fry for about 1 minute, or until crisp. Using tongs, gently remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
8. Reheat the soup gently if necessary. It should be piping hot when served. Ladle into 6 warmed soup bowls and garnish with the crispy sage leaves.
Copyright © 2005 by Michel Nischan
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