eat your veggies: pumpkin parmesan soup

Yes, you read right.  Pumpkin soup.  Trust me on this one.

Back when my son was just a few months old, I saw someone on the Food Network making pumpkin soup.  After I got over the initial "um, YUCK" reaction, I have to say it started looking pretty good.  Plus the woman making it actually used canned pumpkin.  I can't stand it when TV chefs tell you to buy a pumpkin and roast and puree it yourself.  I'm just lazy that way. 

Anyway, I printed out the recipe and tried it a few weeks later.  I've made it a few more times since then and each time it's SO GOOD.  I've tweaked this recipe quite a bit, mainly because the original called for some kind of hazelnut-cheese decoration on top (which is apparently called a "frico." That's right.  A freak-o).  I liked the idea of cheese since I knew it paired well with squash and other veggies similar to pumpkin, but the hazelnuts didn't appeal to me.  Though the frico did look quite sheek-o on the TV.  :o)  Also, I left out the celery because my husband and I both don't like it, as well as the sage, mostly because I usually don't have fresh herbs on hand.  In my opinion, it tastes great without it, but feel free to view the original recipe and use the different ingredients as you wish.

Pumpkin Parmesan Soup
(adapted from Food Network's Ultimate Recipe Showdown)

The Ingredients.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 cups chicken broth
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

The Method.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat until it starts to brown and foam, about two to three minutes.  Don't let it burn!  Stir in the onion, carrot, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and cook until tender, stirring frequently.  Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.

Stir together the half-and-half and cornstarch in a separate bowl and then pour the mixture into the pot.  {Make sure the cornstarch has fully dissolved in the half-and-half before adding it to the pot, since cornstarch often clumps up if added straight to hot mixtures.  Don't ask me how I know that.}  Add the chicken broth, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.  When the soup starts to thicken, reduce the heat to low.  Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to a smooth consistency (or else just puree it in the blender in small batches).  Simmer until ready to serve.  Ladle the soup into bowls and then top with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

For me, the last minute addition of the cheese on top totally makes this soup.  It kind of breaks up the pumpkin-cinnamon flavor so you taste a little saltiness as well.  I'm also a fan of the fact that this soup gets its creamy texture by using half-and-half and cornstarch rather than lots of heavy cream.  I even use fat free half-and-half and it comes out yummy every time.  Plus I love any excuse to use my immersion blender, which is a testament to the fact that it's possible to receive a wedding gift that you didn't register for but still adore.  How often does that happen?  :o)


Linking up with Creations by Kara!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...