Apple Pumpkin Soup

I can see my breath. Beyond that it was only October 23rd when the magical white stuff started falling from the sky. Foolishly I thought to myself: “that will be gone in a few hours” and yet two days later still more snow fell on top of what already rested upon the ground. While I wait for the fire to burst forth with heat, I reheat a bowl of this Apple Pumpkin Soup which warms me from the inside out. Who thought just a few ingredients could taste this good…

Difficulty: Medium (due to the difficulty of peeling a pumpkin)

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cooking Time: 25 Minutes

Yield: 10 Portions

Grocery List:

  • 1 tbsp Grape Seed Oil (or vegetable, canola, etc)
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 ribs Celery
  • 4 medium Apples (Granny Smith are the best)
  • 1 medium Pumpkin
  • 1 liter Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 4 Cardamom Pods
  • 4 Whole Cloves

Equipment:

  • Blender
  • Medium Sauce Pot
  • Cheese Cloth or Tea Steeper (both optional)

It is worth noting that pumpkin, and squash in general, are notoriously dense vegetables. They are hard to cut, so please use a sharp knife and keep your hands out of any possible path that the knife could take.

To peel the pumpkin I start by cutting the gourd in half from stem to base. Using a spoon I work the guts of the pumpkin out in two passes. First I just get the bulk of the seeds and connective plant tissues out. I then do a second pass with the spoon being more meticulous at scraping right down to the flesh. Then use a peeler to take off the majority of the skin. Afterwards, carefully go over the pumpkin with a pairing knife to remove any deep orange skin the peeler missed. All that’s left at this point is to cut the pumpkin into strips, then 1″ cubes and set aside.

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Cut the onion, celery to a medium dice (think 1″ cubes) and set aside. To peel the apples you can use a peeler, or if you want a good exercise in controlling your pairing knife, follow along with me. I start at the top and work in circles around the apple until I reach the bottom. The goal is to take off as little flesh as possible while still moving relatively quickly. After the peel is off, cut around the core and into 1 cm cubes.

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Start heating the oil in the pot to medium then sweat off the onions, celery and apple. Add the pumpkin once the vegetables are just soft, cover and continue cooking until the pumpkin is fork tender. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, followed by the spices and stock. Use the cheese cloth to make a sachee d’epice (fancy french for putting the spices in the cheesecloth and tying it closed), or use a tea steeping ball if you have one. If you have neither, just count the number of bay leaves, cloves, and cardamom pods so you can ensure they are all removed at the end. Make sure there is enough liquid to cover the vegetables (add water if you run out of stock), then bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes.

I left my soup at this stage in the fridge overnight to allow the flavours to develop further, but that is by no means necessary. If you decide to do that though, you will need to return the soup to a boil the next day before blending.

Remove the spices (try to find the cardamom, but if you can’t no worries). Add the soup to the blender. Remember that blenders operate best when only filled half way. To achieve this you will need to blend in batches. Make sure to include enough of the broth in each batch. Once all of the soup has been blended taste it for seasoning. Serve with toast and butter for full fall flavour fun!

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