Thursday, June 9, 2011

Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Baby it's cold outside. Brisbane has descended into its singular week of winter. Finally a time when you can wear a jacket, scarves and boots and not look hemispherically disorientated.

After an afternoon in Brisbane city catching up with a friend and avoiding the mountain of study waiting for me I  returned home, cold, tired and a little hungry. Diving into my fridge I found a cute little butternut pumpkin, perfect for some pumpkin soup. Now, normally I hate pumpkin soup. Childhood memories of nasty boiled up pumpkin, carrot and potato roughly puréed had sworn me off the stuff for years. But I came across a great recipe which is very easy and for the effort involved produces a fantastic pumpkin soup. For me the real difference between this one and a the more (blegh) traditional ones is roasting the pumpkin and the addition of the sherry.  

To make about 6-8 servings you will need: 
-1 small butternut pumpkin 
  • - some olive oil
  • - salt pepper
  • - 3-4 slices of bacon finely sliced ( I didn't have bacon so I used leg ham)
  • - 1 medium red onion
  • - 1/4 cup dry (fino) sherry 
  • - 4 cups chicken stock
  • - 1/4 cup heavy cream or sour cream if you are feeling guilty about all those study snacks
Cut the pumpkin lengthways and scoop out all the seeds. Place it on a baking tray and cover it generously in salt, pepper and olive oil. Bake it in the oven at about 190'C for 45mins. When cooked pull out of the oven to cool. 

When the pumpkin is cooked dice up the bacon and onion sauté them in a little olive oil. When the bacon is beginning to crisp and the onion is translucent deglaze with the fino, letting it simmer till all gone.  

Pour in the chicken stock and scoop out all the pumpkin from the skin and add it to the pot as well. Let the entire mixture simmer for about 10mins to allow the flavours to amalgamate. 

Either transfer the whole thing to a blender or use a stick blender to break it down until there is no lumps.  Taste it and re season. Taking it off the heat add the cream and stir it in. 

I served mine with mini toast (one of the silliest canape products) and some cooked chorizo, but just a nice honest dollop of cold sour cream would be great too.