Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Autumn Inspired Dish: Pumpkin Soup

Aside from making dozens of pumpkin pies, breads, and cakes, pumpkins can also be used in savory dishes as well. One of them is soup or chowder (as my version is thicker)! Have you ever tried pumpkin soup? I will admit that this video is my first EVER attempt at making it, and I have to say that I really do like it...it has a lovely thick and creamy consistency, and the flavors give it a very exotic, yet down-to-earth taste.

My inspiration recipe came from a book called Five-A-Day: Fruit & Vegetable Cookbook, by Kate Whiteman, Maggie Mathew, and Christine Ingram. I bought this book a few years ago as it looked like a great book for getting back into a healthy eating habit, and what better way to do that than to find inspiration in a pretty cookbook?

I used their version of the pumpkin soup recipe as a base for mine, but as I went along, I decided to add in my own ingredients, substitutions, and changed it around a bit. I am very pleased with how this turned out! It has such a lovely, light flavor of pumpkin, mixed in with the very woody nutmeg flavor, and a creamy semisweet milk based broth. So delicious!

Here's the video tutorial:

Here are all the ingredients for MY version of the pumpkin soup recipe:

1-2 Tbs. (15-24 mL) olive oil (or sunflower, canola, etc.)
1 Tbs. (15 mL) butter
Half of a medium-sized sweet onion
 Saute onions.

Approx. 3/4 lb-1 lb (150-225 g) Yukon Gold potato (or a soft, sweet variety)
Approx. 1 lb (450 g) of a sweet potato, cubed
1-1 1/2 cups (240-360 mL) of cooked, pureed pumpkin
Cook potatoes and pumpkin.

2 cups (475 mL) water with 4 Tbs (60 mL) white vinegar
Add as a broth.
Nutmeg (to taste)
1 tsp. (5 mL) thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste
1 cup (240 mL) pureed acorn squash with butter, olive oil, and stevia (no recipe, just done by taste)
Puree everything in a food processor or blender. 

2 Tbs. (30 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 pint (2 cups)(600mL) milk (1% or higher is best for creamier texture/flavor)
Last of the broth.
2/3 cup (100 g) chopped yellow bell pepper
2/3 cup (100 g) yellow corn kernels
For texture and flavoring (optional).

Let me know what you think! I hope you enjoy the crisp fall weather and I'll have another tutorial coming soon!

Warm soup and a cuddling blanket,


How To...Cook A Pumpkin

Hi there, my lovelies. It has been several months since I have uploaded a video to my cooking/hobbies YouTube channel, and obviously the same amount of time has surpassed since my last blog update as well! I am creating a long-term series called the "How To..." which will show you specific and easy techniques on 'how to...' do something in the kitchen, be it cooking a pumpkin, to open a coconut, etc. I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you what I know about pumpkins.

As it is autumn now, there are many new flavors to add to our palettes, and this season, I wanted to incorporate as many fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables in my cooking, and attempt to make most of my meals from scratch. I am the type of cook who likes to be challenged in the kitchen, and most of the time, I like to do things my own way--throw things together and see if they work. In the kitchen, I am a mad scientist, or so to speak. I enjoy cooking very much, and love sharing my tips, techniques, trials and errors, and recipes with you all.

A goal of mine this autumn was to cook my own pumpkin to use in pies, breads, soups, and where ever else pumpkin can be. Today, I am sharing with you a video on how to cook a pumpkin--and not just any pumpkin, but a Cinderella (or also known as Fairytale) pumpkin. These pumpkins have thick walls, very soft, almost melon-like flesh, and large seeds. As I mention in the video, this type of pumpkin is very similar to a cantaloupe. It is a pale orange hue, and has a very soft and sweet flavor, a little give in the meat, but it is very delicious and nutritious. This particular pumpkin is a French Heirloom, even though pumpkins and other squash fruits are originally from the New World vegetation. Its true name is Rouge vif D'Etampes ...I think it is pronounced "Roojze vee daht-ahmpuh" It's definitely a mouthful. If you speak French, will you let me know if that was correct? =)

The reason I choose a fibrous, thick pumpkin instead of the typical Jack-o-lantern type is because of the flavor, textures, and consistency. The main pumpkin breed you find in the grocery store has been bred for a specific purpose--and that is to become a Jack-o-Lantern. They were biologically bred to have thicker walls to withstand the carving, and are also bred to NOT have as much fibrous flesh...(the juiciest part of the pumpkin!) They also do not have as much of a sweet or even potent flavor. For more information about the many dozens of pumpkins breeds, please visit www.allaboutpumpkins.com. They have some amazing information, and this is where I learned about my favorite pumpkin.

I have a few more tutorials coming up on how to get many uses out of your pumpkin puree this season, so keep an eye out for them, and in the meantime, here's the video:

All you need: 

Sharp utility knife
Baking pans
Several bowls
Plastic freezer bags
Plastic wrap or aluminum foil
And of course, your favorite type of pumpkin.

I hope you guys enjoyed this video. Take care and have a delicious day!

Your Emmy