Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bumpkin & Ginger Soup

I am not really sure if this is my own invention or if I originally read it somewhere but if I did I’ve long forgotten the source. In any case there are plenty of recipes out there that are similar. Whatever the origin this is a great soup and a very colourful starter for a dinner party.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 kg pumpkin cut into pieces no longer than 5 cm per side;
  2. 1 tbls (30 gr?) fresh, chopped ginger;
  3. 2 medium apples, cored, pealed and cubed (use a good baking apple like golden delicious or cox);
  4. 1 medium onion chopped;
  5. 1 medium leak cleaned and chopped into 1 cm disks;
  6. 1 medium celery stalk chopped into 1 cm disks;
  7. 2 large cloves garlic, chopped;
  8. 2 tbls butter;
  9. Hot water to cover (you can use good quality chicken stock but this recipe does not need it);
  10. Salt and Pepper to taste;
  11. Garnish: a teaspoon per person of Gorgonzola and Crème Fraiche, two teaspoons grated gruyere and finely chopped chives if you happen to have some lying around.

Under a hot grill roast the pumpkin until caramelized where exposed. Put the butter (plus a little bit of olive oil just to raise the burn temp) in a big heavy bottomed soup pot and when hot add the apples. Turn the apples slowly in the butter until they start to caramelize then add the onion, leak, celery and garlic and sweet until the onion is transparent.

Add the pumpkin, ginger and salt and pepper cover with water. Bring to boil and then let the soup simmer for about 20 min. Puree the soup until smooth in a blender or with one of these magic sticks everyone has lying about. If you want to be fancy you can run the soup through a fine sieve which will get rid of any lumps and unsightly bits.

Serve in a soup bowl with all three garnishes. I happen to like these three garnishes and I happen to like mixing them. You could however use almost any cheese that you like, skip the cream or use yogurt. A twist of black pepper does no harm.

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