Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pumpkin, it's a fall thing.

I'm on a pumpkin kick. It's widely avaliable in fall, and it makes great food. Through the years I have made pumpkin breads, cookies and cakes. These are all well and good, but I'm looking to branch out.

I have seen the so called pumpkin bisque in the stores to purchase, and even sampled some, and they are good. I decided though, that they don't have to be nearly so bad for you.

I started out with a mild failure. My husband, upon sampling my creation look at me and said it was grainy. He then proceeded to tell me that I was lacking in the amount of cream I used.

The next morning I strained the soup and it did help, he was right it was grainy. I thought this weird, and it brings me to something that I should have realized a while ago. My food processor is not new. I've had it for over ten years. The same blade for all those years, it is probably time to get a new blade. I'm not going to buy a whole new processor, they may look more chic, but they don't really look much different and they cost $200. Not only that I do have a large guilty feeling of getting rid of a perfectly good item, just because it's not in style. Manufacturing these machines isn't the most earth healthy thing. Pitching on into the trash isn't the green thing to do. I know I could take it down to the Goodwill and feel better about myself, but I still feel like it's just tossing crap because it's 'old'.

Well so the blade doesn't puree things anymore, just finely chops. I have found that my blender (with easily replaceable parts) also does a fine job with soups. Blenders are good things to have around. You can get universal new blades for a few bucks, new o rings come in multi-packs and cost around three bucks! My sister in law recently got her first blender, and this prompted a discussion in the family.

How many speeds do you need on that blender? I say two: on and off. I don't ever use the slower speeds, which is good because my blender has two speeds. If you say "oh the splattering that happens" you are overfilling your blender. Start with half of what you think should go in there, just a little, blend it up and then add more while the blender is running. I have also found, that for safety, a kitchen towel thrown over the lid of the blender and held down keeps all splatter at bay.

This is a recipe that seems to have unnecessary steps. Don't doubt me, you need to do them all.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup


1 Tbs. butter
1/2 roasted sugar pumpkin
1 large sweet onion
2 honey crisp apples
2 tsp Organic Better Than Bullion Chicken base
6 C. water
2 tsp. TJ's pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp. garham masala
pepper and a pinch of salt (maybe 1/2 tsp)
1 C. organic non-homogenized 1/2 & 1/2
1/3 C. buttermilk
Creme Fraiche
several slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
honey chevre (if you can't find it to buy take a bit of honey and mix it into your goat chevre)


Cut your pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and roast for about 20-30 minutes at 450.

In a large soup pot melt the butter, roughly dice the onions and apple. Add these to the pot and cook for about 12 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the pumpkin, roughly chopped and the water along with the chicken base and some pepper. Cover and simmer for 12-20 minutes. In a food processor or blender puree a bit of the soup. In a separate bowl, run the puree through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth, pressing the mixture into the sides of the strainer. Discard anything left over from the mixture. Continue this way until you have pureed and strained all of the soup. Wash the original pot and return the soup to it.

Over the lowest heat possible, add the spices and test the flavor. If needed add up to 1/2 tsp salt. In a bowl mix together the half and half, buttermilk, and a few spoonfuls of creme fraiche. Cook the bacon until crisp, pat dry and crumble.

Put a few spoons of the hot soup into the cream mixture, and stir quickly, repeat until you have added 1 C. of hot soup to the cream, tempering it. Then add the cream to the soup. Do not boil or simmer! Once you have added the cream to the soup, you cannot ever heat it quickly, you will ruin the soup. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle a bit of bacon and chevre onto the top. Serve with salad and french bread.

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