Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tangy Roasted Pumpkin Soup حساء القرع العسلي المميز

Roasting the pumpkin for the soup encourages the natural sugars to caramelize and enriches its flavor creating a more complex soup.

Ingredients
  • 1 medium pumpkin, about 4 pounds
  • Olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1/8 t freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup crème fraiche, thinned with milk just until pourable
  • 1 cup julienned roasted pumpkin
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds*

Procedure
  1. To roast the pumpkin, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Cut pumpkin in half through stem end and then cut each half into several pieces. 
  3. Remove strings. Reserve seeds for garnish.. 
  4. Place pumpkin on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Roast in oven until tender but not falling apart, about 45 minutes. 
  6. Let cool and peel away skin. Julienne a cupful for garnish. Dice the remainder.
  7. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. 
  8. Add bacon and onions and cook stirring occasionally until onions are soft and bacon is just turning golden. 
  9. Add the pumpkin and stock and simmer until pumpkin falls apart, about 30 minutes. Let cool about 20 minutes.
  10. In batches, puree soup in a food processor until smooth. 
  11. Strain through a mesh sieve; add cream, orange juice and nutmeg. 
  12. Reheat .Ladle into bowls and garnish with julienned pumpkin and toasted pumpkin seeds*. 
  13. Drizzle on crème fraiche. 6 servings.

*How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
  1. Rinse pumpkin seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings. (This is easiest just after you’ve removed the seeds from the pumpkin, before the pulp has dried). Simmer seeds in salted water for 10 minutes. Pat dry thoroughly.
  2. Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet, stirring to coat.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and bake at 325 degrees F until toasted, about 25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes.
  4. Let cool and store in an air-tight container. There is no need to crack open to remove inner seed.
Recipe Provided by Phyllis Kirigin
Photographer Bill Brady