It’s that time again.
It’s time to talk about soup. Well, really, I’m here to encourage you to do a bit more than just talk about soup. How about throwing one together tonight? It’s autumn now and there really isn’t a better time for making such things. Sure, you probably made a couple of summer soups, but aren’t those just sort of a novelty? No cold summer soup can truly stand up to this season’s earthy warm varieties.
It only seems appropriate to begin this soup season with an easy pumpkin soup. Starting at square one, right? This is a simple soup. There are no bells and whistles here. And, there’s good reason. Not only does the soup stand up well in its surprising simplicity, but you can also dress it up at your whim. Dash of paprika? Cumin? It’s up to you. The sky really is the limit when it comes to a basic pumpkin soup.
The best part is that you don’t have to deal with fresh squash either. Although I adore roasting a good juicy pumpkin, I didn’t have the heart to take a knife to my newly hunted pumpkins to make the base of this soup. I must be getting pretty sentimental as I age. Or, I suppose it’s possibly just motherhood and all that comes with it. We found the most extraordinary pumpkin patch (thanks to Phoebe) and, subsequently, the most gorgeous pumpkins. They are Maeve’s first big pumpkins and they will not be destroyed so casually. Those pumpkins are the fruits of autumn upon which we will gaze for weeks. Those pumpkins are the ones we will butcher on the eve of halloween. Those will be the ones we use to teach Maeve about this fantastically spooky holiday and gorgeous season (of the redhead).
Besides, truth be told, I cannot imagine chopping up a huge pumpkin right now. That sounds a bit like work and I do not have the energy. Lately, I begin my day with grand plans about elaborate or even minimally complicated meals for dinner. I think about the various places I can go to pick up ingredients or where I can stop in between naps and such in order to find just what I need. As the light fades throughout the day, however, I amend my plans repeatedly until I’ve pared down dinner to the simplest thing possible. It’s funny how the changing light will do this to me. Every year, I find the early onset of darkness to be sort of a roadblock to meal planning and preparation. This year is no exception. With the little one in tow each day, my meal planning isn’t anything to admire or even detail much further.
Thus, I’m so thankful for this great simple recipe for pumpkin soup and for these mini pumpkins, which were a breeze to prepare. Aren’t they adorable? Of course, you might think pumpkin bowls a bit silly. If so, you can certainly forgo that step. I wouldn’t blame you. You can use the darkness as an excuse. I know I do.
Plop a bowl of this in front of me with a crusty loaf and some gruyere or other nutty cheese and I’m totally happy.
I hope you enjoy it and all the season has to offer. I’m curious, though, does the changing light affect your kitchen dreams too?
Curried Pumpkin Apple Soup
1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1/2 of a medium onion)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups finely diced Granny Smith apples, cored and peeled, (about 2 medium apples)
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 cans organic pureed pumpkin (30 ounces total)
4 cups low sodium chicken broth (substitute vegetable broth)
1 cup sour cream (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh diced chives (optional)
Salt, freshly cracked pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the apples and curry powder. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes. Then add the pumpkin and broth. Stir to mix completely. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 10- 15 minutes more.
Puree the soup in a blender in batches and return to the stockpot to keep warm. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm with chives and dollops of sour cream.
Note: The recipe makes 6 servings.
Mini Pumpkin Bowls
6 mini pumpkins or squash such as Baby Bear, Munchkin, Jack Be Little, Gold Nugget, or Wee-B-Little, 6 to 8 oz. each
About 2 tsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400°. If needed, cut a thin slice from bases of pumpkins so they sit flat. Set on a rimmed baking sheet, rub with a little oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until tender when pierced, 40 to 45 minutes.
Cut off lids about 2 in. wide. Carefully scrape out seeds with a small spoon, keeping walls and bases intact. If you accidentally get a hole in the pumpkin, line it with a piece of foil.
Source for the pumpkin bowl recipe: Sunset Magazine