17 September 2009
It is pumpkin season again! I hadn’t quite realised to what extent until last weekend when we were driving through the Swiss countryside and came across huge stalls of every size, shape and colour of pumpkin imaginable. The food bells went off in my head and after much shrieking I had Olivier turning the car around to make a pit stop.
Here things work on the honour system – you take a pumpkin and leave money in the penny jar. If you forget, the headless horseman will come after you that night to remind you. Kidding! So we loaded up the boot, settled the account and drove home with 5 extra ‘friends’. Now it was a question of what to do with them – soup seemed like a good start.
The secret to this recipe is the use of two different types of pumpkins:
- The potimarron (aka Hokkaido squash or kuri pumpkin) a small, intense orange pumpkin with dense bright orange flesh and sweet taste with a hint of chestnut (marron = chestnut in French).
- The muscade of Provence which is a large pumpkin, orange/grey in colour with lighter orange flesh, contains more water and has a less sweet taste.
The mix of the two makes the perfect soup. This recipe will also come in handy for my brother who recently bought a second-hand bicycle in Rotterdam which came with a hand blender (don’t ask)!
RECIPE : SWEET PEA Blog
- 2 medium onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon whole pepper corns
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 laurel (bay) leaf
- 600 gr potimarron pumpkin (see picture)
- 600 gr regular pumpkin (see picture)
- 600 mL vegetable stock (1 1/2 bouillon cubes)
- 20 mL light cream
- Grated nutmeg to taste
Potimarron pumpkin (above)
Muscade of Provence pumpkin (above)
- First put all the spices (cloves, pepper corns, coriander & laurel leaf ) into a large closed tea strainer. Set aside
- Next prepare the potimarron pumpkin: do not peel, just cut in half, remove the seeds etc, and cut the flesh into small chunks. Set aside.
- Next prepare the muscade pumpkin. Peel this one, and cut into small pieces. Set aside.
- Now prepare the onions and garlic. Peel and chop into large pieces. Heat the olive oil & butter in a large / deep soup pot and cook on medium/low heat until soft (approx. 5 minutes)
- Add 50 mL of the vegetable stock, cover and simmer until the pan is almost dry
- Add the two types of pumpkin, stir, cover and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining 550 mL of stock and tea strainer with spices, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked.
- Remove the tea strainer with spices.
- If you have time, strain and keep the stock, blending the vegetable 1st and gradually adding the stock till prefered soup thickness.
- Add grated nutmeg to taste.
- Add cream.