As I wrote earlier, October is the month of surprises. From who’s in the World Series playoff’s to what new thing our politicians may spring on us. But in between, there’s a change in the weather that causes us to buy gloves, scarves, go to the back closet and pull out the boots, coats and sweaters. It’s the usher that gently gets us ready for the long cold winter. It’s also the month for good food, some of which is only available during these fall days. Take pumpkin soup. I have never made pumpkin soup, but a doctor at the hospital where I work was craving it the other day. Seeing that she is nine months pregnant and only 3 weeks from birth, I of course stepped right up to the plate and wanted to surprise her with this delicate dish.
Surfing the internet for the best recipe, I came upon many ways to make pumpkin soup. Since she was leaving the next day on maternity leave, I really had no time to experiment. Baking the pumpkin and using the real deal would have been great, but I knew there would not have been enough time. I would resort to canned pumpkin. With only one chance to come up with the delicacy, I chose the best of many recipes and added my own touch.
The recipe I chose made about three quarts of soup, so I cut it in half just in case I didn’t like it. The recipe also asked for applesauce, and after raiding the cupboard, I discovered I was out. But this could not stop me…I had to think. Oh, yes, I did pick up an awesome fresh baked apple pie from one of my favorite restaurants the other evening and there is was right on the counter. After scooping out 1/2 cup of apples, all yummy with cinnamon and spices, the blender was the next step. The recipe called for a small onion, but somehow, I just could not fathom the thought of onion in the soup, but since it was in there I cut the very small onion in half and diced it up, about 2 tablespoons. The next step was to sauté the onion in 1 1/2 tablespoons butter. This was looking good, and I added the 1 tablespoon flour to thicken the sauce. Then the recipe called for chicken stock, of which I added 3 cups of my favorite Kitchen Basics.
Now it was time to add the 1 cup of pumpkin, some ginger, and nutmeg, about 1/8th teaspoon each, and a dash of salt. It was all coming together, and then I added the heavy cream, ½ cup to be exact, and folded in the blended applesauce. Another swish in the blender, and wow! I didn’t even know I liked pumpkin soup. I did add another 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and heated it all through to a soft boil. Looking back now I might have added a teaspoon or two of maple syrup, I just didn’t think of it at the time, but that may have just sent it over the top.
Bill put the soup in a sturdy container and even decorated the top with fresh marigolds. The sweet doctor was so excited to get the soup, and she promised to let us know how it came out. She said she couldn’t taste it until she got home, so she could share it with her husband. We sent her a quart, and there was 2 cups left over for me and Bill. Bill said, “I thought I would not like pumpkin soup…but what a surprise!” I say, “Another October Surprise.”
Have fun, and make up a batch of pumpkin soup. PS…after making it again today, I must say I did sweeten it up a bit, and even chunked up some apples with added cinnamon sugar and plopped them on top for a garnish…yum! I think I got it just right. You will just have to check out this recipe on my recipe board.