Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pumpkin soup: so pretty, so yellow

Pumpkin is a wonderfully forgiving vegetable. It patiently sits in the darkness of your larder (that also doubles as a garage in our house), waiting for months on end until you feel ready to use it. Every now and then there's hope that the end is near. I brought it into the kitchen for a few days in early January, planning to make Johanna's wonderful blue cheese and roasted pumpkin quiche again, but eventually took it back to its place in the garage. In early February, we had to move the pumpkin indoors again, as the temperatures fell way below -20ºC and we needed to make sure the pumpkin survived the coldwave. But still it didn't make it to the kitchen and was returned to the garage a few days later.

The pumpkin was finally brought into the warmth of our kitchen a week ago. The particular pumpkin in question - some 2.5 kg in weight, unpeeled - was given to us by K's mum last October. She wanted the seeds back, so she could grow new pumpkins in her allotment. As the spring is finally reaching the shores here, we decided it was time to return the pumpkin seeds to K's mum and do something with the pumpkin itself. It was nice to see that even if our pumpkin had been feeling a bit neglected over the last few months, it didn't show - it was still bright yellow and moist inside when cut open.

Half of the pumpkin found its way into this simple and delicious soup, slightly sweet in taste, smooth in texture and beautifully yellow in colour. Wonderfully comforting soup, let me tell you..

Pumpkin soup
Serves 4

1 kg pumpkin flesh, cubed
olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp demerara sugar
1 litre of good vegetable stock (I used Marigold)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

Cut the peeled and seeded pumpkin into chunks, finely chop the onion.
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add pumpkin and onions and stir. Fry gently for about five minutes, then stir in the sugar.
Add the stock, season with salt, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the pumpkin has softened.
Pureé the soup in a blender until smooth. Re-heat, and serve with a dollop of cream and croutons (optional).


Anonymous said...

What happened to the other half?

ScienceMel said...

Ditto??? Did you use it as half a jack-o-lantern?

Could you try something like cumin or corriander like you'd add to carrot soup? Or, is the pumpkin not sweet enough on its own to warrant such additions?

lobstersquad said...

nothing to do with your post. just to say that I´ve reserved a house in Saaremaa for two weeks in August, I´m so excited. Will probably pester you for food recommendations later.

Kalyn Denny said...

This does sound lovely. This type of plant that's called "pumpkin" in Europe and Asia is called winter squash in the U.S. It's one of my favorites.

Rachael Narins said...

I just wrote a post today about how much I love orange food...this sounds SO yummy.

Anonymous said...

körvitsad on väga mönusad. maitsele lisaks veel nii ilusad vaadata. ma selle aasta tarbeks ostsin seemneid nii 15 pakki vist kokku. lisaks varasemad varud.

p.s. e-mail sinule tuli mul tagasi. mis te tolle nädalavahetuse suhtes välja olete möelnud?

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite soups...yours sounds really delicious! :) This makes me want to go out and buy a pumpkin! :)

Linda said...

im sad summer is coming only because my gourd cooking will soon come to a close. this looks delish!

Pille said...

Roxy - be patient, dear girl! (Still trying to decide - it's in my fridge at the moment)

Melinda - I think cumin might be too strong, but coriander would work well. It depends on your pumpkin - this one was surprisingly sweet.

Ximena - that's wonderful news! Happy to suggest places - Pädaste, for example - but I hope we'll have a chance to meet in Tallinn, too?!

Kalyn - that name business is really complicated! Thanks for the clarification!

Rachael - we eat with our eyes, so no wonder we're attracted to beautiful and vibrant colours.

Maarja - rõõm kuulda, et ma pole ainus seemnehull. Sinust inspireerituna ostsin tollest Tartu poest suure-suure ümbrikutäie seemneid, mis eile kohale saabusid. K. naeris seda kogust nähes - esiteks pole meil aeda veel üldse olemas (on 2000 m2 heinamaad) ja teiseks pole ma kunagi suur rohenäpp olnud. Loodan ema ja õeraasu abile:)

Joey - I've been making lots of vegetable soups recently - they're so easy and delicious.

Linda - but during summer we've got various summer squashes and pumpkins (courgettes etc) - they're lovely, too!