Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fresh Pumpkin Soup

It's Thanksgiving Day, and the smells coming from the kitchen start before the sun rises. Yesterday was full of prep for the pies, the corn bread stuffing, sauces, and appetizers. I am not in charge of the turkey this year at all, so I just have to worry about some of the fixin's. To be honest, the bird kind of intimidates me a bit, so to not have a "shot" at it this year is ok with me. Maybe next year is what I am thinking... or maybe even later this winter...

One of my favorite dishes for Thanksgiving, is actually a soup. Pumpkin soup so it is completely festive and flavorful. This soup is pre-dinner, and pre-dessert, but really I would be satisfied with just a big bowl of this delectable soup and call it good. It is perfectly pumpkin. Perfectly sweet and savory in it's own perfect way. This is the perfect holiday to serve such a perfect soup. 

I made a huge pot of it to share with the family meal and it was simple to make ahead and have simmering in the crock pot to have with appetizers and even with dinner. The hardest part to the soup is really just the prep time and blending on the fresh pumpkin. I baked 2 large pumpkins yesterday, and it made about 8 cups of pumpkin puree. Other than that step, this soup is a piece of cake, or maybe pie in this case.
To roast or bake a pumpkin, you have to cut it open, de-seed it, rinse, then put in the oven on 450 degrees for about 1 hour or until soft enough to slice through with a butter knife. I pull it out of the oven, and then it cool almost completely and then peal the skin off, and put all the soft pieces in the blender or food processor so that that you can puree it. Sometimes you need a few splashes of water to get it moving, but then after a while you will have about 4 cups of fresh pureed pumpkin per baked medium pumpkin. You don't even have to bake the "pie" pumpkin if you do not want to. All pumpkins can be roasted, the pie pumpkins have a little more flavor and thickness to them so that is why they are specifically used to pumpkin pies. 

Fresh Pumpkin Soup Recipe:
1 cup of diced yellow onion
4 minced garlic cloves
2 TB of olive oil
4 cups of vegetable broth
2 cups of pure water
4 cups of fresh pumpkin puree
1 ts of pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
1/2 ts. of paprika
1/2 ts. of ground cumin
1 ts. of ground black pepper, or more to taste
1 ts. of sea salt
handful of mixed fresh herbs finely chopped (parsley, sage, thyme)
1 can of whole-fat coconut milk
In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes until soft. Then add the water, broth, pumpkin, and spices. Let that start to cook and boil, then turn the heat down just a bit and add the fresh herbs and coconut milk. Continuing stirring and watch it start to bubble and foam. Turn down the heat and let it stay warm to serve, or this is when you can transfer to the crock pot to stay warm for hours to serve before or with dinner. 

Then, the most important part is to serve with love. Also, I like to make a corn bread to go with this soup. Yesterday I made some sweet potato cornbread....recipe coming soon. Really though, this soup is so thick and full of flavor you will not feel like you are missing any nutrients or sides. Just enjoy!

This is one of the dishes I will be sharing with family this Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorites, so even if everyone is more concerned with all the other side dishes or whether or not the turkey is done... I don't really care because this soup is comfort and warmth in a bowl.

I hope you enjoy and have a blessed holiday with family and friends.  There is always so much to be thankful for, and to have a day to set aside and share love and gratefulness is such a blessed tradition. Enjoy!

Much love to you friends!

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