Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pumpkin Soup from New Zealand with Love:)

Right now in California we are experiencing a preview of Spring, but we are told to prepare for Winter returning next week. I am missing Winter terribly. I love Northern California's Winters. No snow, but cold crisp days with a nice cleaning of rain showers. Most think I am nuts, but I know I was meant to live in Seattle. I love gray skies and days where coffee and soup are your main diet. Also a nice cold day with sunshine is great too. We are lucky to have that kind of winter living in the Bay. The picture above was taken in Napa right before Christmas. I love Napa especially in the winter it reminds me of some of the places I have traveled in New Zealand. New Zealand is beautiful in the Summer which is their Winter time, but Summer for us. 

When I was 18 I got the opportunity to travel to the South Pacific. I played in the Sydney Opera house and then traveled to New Zealand. One of the things that I most remember is a soup that I was served. It was a pumpkin soup. This was a very foreign recipe to me. I come from a family of very good cooks, but Pumpkin Soup is something I had never experienced. The family that I stayed with said it was a pretty common dish in New Zealand. So for years I have been trying to duplicate it. I have found recipes that are sweet soups, but it was hard to find one with a savory taste. So I found three different recipes and combined them together and I think I have nailed the recipe. 

This time a year I make my Pumpkin Soup and love every spoonful of it, but the weather has been so weird I have not made it once. So I decided this weekend I was going to make it in hopes to make the cold weather come back quickly. Enjoy:)

2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 15oz cans of pumpkin pure or one large can, you can also roast your own pumpkins if you want
2 cups chicken stock or broth or vegetable broth, you may want to add one more cup of veggie stock for not such a thick soup, but you can add that after you puree to gage the thickness.
1 teaspoons sea salt, I like to use the Hawaiian red salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, or 1 tablespoon dried if your not into sage then just use 1 teaspoon of fresh sage or a 1/2 tablespoon of dried
1 cup light cream or 1/2 cup of half and half and 1/2 cup of low fat milk
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

In a large pot, heat the butter over moderately low heat. Add the onion, garlic, shallot
and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the pumpkin, stock, salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, about 30 to 40 minutes. Stir in the sage and simmer 5  to 10 minutes longer.
Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. You may have to do half of the soup at a time. Pour the puree back into the pot and add the cream. If you want a really silky smooth soup put through a stainer, but I like it a little chunky. Stir in the pepper. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Top with some fresh sage, and I like to drizzle a little chilly oil as well for a kick. You could also grate some Gruyere cheese and sprinkle rather than the chilly oil. This recipe makes about 10 to 12 servings in a normal size bowl. I usually cut the recipe in half and add extra pumpkin for a really thick hearty soup. 

1 comment:

Hearts & Anchors said...

Oooooh, that sounds so good. I'm totally going to make this and hope it brings back wintry days.