11.01.2011

Pumpkin Soup

My little cousin Amy and I were walking around on a misty California day, you know the kind where it’s not exactly raining but the fog is hanging so low that it is dripping. My cousin says, (being the genius that she is) “today is a good soup day, I am going to ask my mom to make us soup”. Now you might not realize it yet, but this statement is profound for not one, but two reasons. First because my aunt happens to be the best cook on the planet. I mean, her cooking is so good that you will dream about it and not just like you’ll think about it every once and a while, you will literally dream about it. One time she tried out for Iron Chef and they turned her down, not because her cooking wasn’t good enough because no one would watch the show if she just effortlessly beat everyone into oblivion that challenged her. So, too bad for you Food Network and more food for me. Ha Ha. 
The other half of the reason why that little sentence is amazing  is Amy herself.  When Amy was a baby she had the most adorable lisp, so soup was sthoup and her brother Chris was Cthis. Can you imagine it, are you dying of cuteness? Ok, then you’re doing it right. So, One day my family was over at Amy’s house and she was being all cute playing on her little Fisher Price kitchen (I told you she was Super Fancy Chef in training!!) and my dad asks her what she is making and she looks up at him, hands him a plastic bowl and says “sthoup”. We all died of cuteness. My dad asks her what kind of soup she is making and she responds “chocolate sthoup”. A girl after mine own heart, I tell ya. So when my cousin Amy says “I am going to ask my mom to make us soup” You almost die of cuteness but hold on waiting for the delicious soup. My Aunt made pumpkin soup with homemade croutons, which I later re-created for my Third Annual Orphan’s Thanksgiving. If you want to make it there are a few steps you need to take in preparation:


1.       Take your best friend to a pumpkin patch
(If you are a guy and reading this, good for you. PS - the Pumpkin Patch is definitely top five places to meet a good woman, so get there, plus this IS Pumpkin Patch Season!)
2.       Find pumpkins
(Make sure you are picking the cooking kind, not the carving kind. The pumpkins in this picture are neither.)
3.       Get your pumpkins home safe.
(Try parking this tractor in the city!It's tough, trust me!)

Now that you have that out of the way, you are going to want to chop an onion, celery and garlic; then sauteé them in a little olive oil. Chop the tops off the pumpkins, cut them in half and scoop the seedy part out, drizzle them with olive oil and roast in the oven. Add Fresh ginger to the sauteing vegetables, I like to use my microplane to grate it. This is also a good time to add some nutmeg, fresh thyme and a bay leaf. Deglaze the pan with a little water and then add four or five more cups of water and leave to simmer. Once the pumpkins are done roasting scoop out the flesh and add to the soup, leave to simmer. Cube some crusty French bread and to a pan with butter over low heat, once the butter melts toss to coat the bread and then leave to toast.  Next time you look, these will be irresistible croutons and you won’t be able to stop eating them and then you will be too full to eat dinner, good job. After about 25 minutes the soup will have cooked down and you can use your immersion blender to smooth everything out,  except the bay leaf, you're going to want to take that out. At the last minute add a couple splashes of cream and a few shakes of salt . Honestly, it’s almost as good without the cream and your hips will probably thank you if you skip it, especially after you ate half a baguette worth of croutons. Ladle some perfectly delicious Pumpkin Soup into your bowl and top with homemade croutons and freshly cracked black pepper. I recommend it for lunch, because you can’t have a bad day if it includes this, or as a starter for Thanksgiving, and especially if you are sharing it with people you love.

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