Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Pumpernickel Croutons




I'm still feeling a little bit tired from our long weekend, but not too tired to make some warm comfort food.

This soup is creamy, thick, nutritious, a little spicy and has the surprise ingredient of balsamic vinegar. I think it's perfect for a crisp November day.

My original recipe calls for using a whole pumpkin - because I have a little pumpkin patch - but I simplified this for you and use canned pumpkin puree. If you'd like to use a whole, fresh pumpkin, see instructions at the end of the recipe.




Pumpkin Soup with Pumpernickel Croutons

One 15.5 ounce can pumpkin puree
One medium size butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2 inch chunks
2 medium apples, washed, cored and cut in half, skin on
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
2 shallots, peeled and halved
3 medium carrots, peeled, cut in half
2 stalks celery, cut in half
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 big sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon each: all spice, ginger, ground cloves, nutmeg
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the butternut squash, apples, onion, shallots, carrot, celery, thyme and bay leaves in a heavy roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Roast in hot oven for 1 hour or until all the vegetables are soft, stirring every 20 minutes or so. Remove from oven. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
Place on top of stove and over medium high heat add wine to deglaze. Add chicken or vegetable broth, balsamic vinegar and spices and cook for 15 minutes.

Puree in batches in a blender - placing pureed vegetables in a large soup pot. Add pumpkin puree to soup pot and whisk to thoroughly combine. Heat through and taste to adjust seasoning. Add salt and pepper if necessary.

Stir in 1/4 cup heavy cream (if desired), heat through, ladle into soup bowls and top with pumpernickel croutons.

Pumpernickel Croutons:

Four, one inch thick slices of pumpernickel bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Toss bread cubes with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Spread out on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 8 minutes, turning and tossing half way through.

If using a Whole Pumpkin:

Remove seeds and strings from pumpkin. Cut into pieces about the size of your hand. Add to roasting pan with the rest of the vegetables. When done roasting, remove pumpkin and when cooled, scrape out flesh, discarding shell. Add back to roasting pan with the rest of the vegetables and proceed with wine and broth....


A Cook's Notes: Roasting the vegetables gives this soup a nice earthy (almost smoky) taste. Start to finish only takes about 1 1/2 hours and for the most part, the oven does the work!

14 comments:

  1. Soup looks thick n creamy.. very tempting

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  2. I really wished I like to cook. That looks and sounds so yummy.

    Please come and live with me

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  3. Ann - it makes enough to freeze some too. So make once, eat twice!

    Otin - That's the spirit!

    Vodka - Who does the cooking in your house?

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  4. Vodka - ps... you could also put everything in a crock pot - all day. then just puree... does that help?

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  5. This recipe looks delicious. I can't seem to find any pumpkin at the local grocery store, and my farmer's market closed down. :(

    I baked lemon gem cupcakes last night and I am very proud of them. :)

    Cooking is contagious.

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  6. We love butternut squash. I just split and seed them, put a little butter and salt and fresh cracked peppercorns on them and bake until tender. If they are large I always have leftovers, so I made a soup very similar to the recipe above last week. It was so good. I put a dollop of yogurt on top since I was out of cream and didn't want to go to the store for something I was more or less throwing together. I will have to try yours....with all the correct ingredients!

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  7. Phoebe - canned pumpkin is usually in the baking aisle - with the flour and sugar and spices... go figure.. yum, lemon gem cupcakes.. are you posting the recipe?

    kathy - butternut squash is one of our favorites.. I'm thinking of trying it in my garden next year. I always use Greek Style yogurt in place of sour cream... yum! And BTW - that's what real cooking is about - using the ingredients you have on hand to create something new and special. Necessity is the mother of invention in the kitchen too!

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  8. I can't help but think I would want to dip a graham cracker into that soup! :)

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  9. This soup looks fabulous! Yummmmie!

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  10. I love the looks and sound of this! And the addition of pumpernickel croutons makes it a wow. Thanks for sharing.

    And thank you for sharing in my SITS day last week!

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  11. I can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks so much.

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  12. I think we are going to have to make this over the weekend. It is cold in Pennsylvania and that look soul warming.

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Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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