Sunday, September 26, 2010

Soup Weather Has Arrived - Pumpkin Soup in a Pumpkin

I love fall.  It's the beginning of soup weather, and I'm definitely a soup person.

I'm a big fan of pumpkin, and I found the following recipe on Saveur's website.  It sounds delicious and I'm sure it will look wonderful being served from inside a pumpkin.

1 - 7 lb Cinderella pumpkin with a 2" stem
7 Tbsp butter
1 large yellow onion (peeled and finely chopped)
1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (toasted)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground sage
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese (I don't like Swiss, so I'll use Mozzarella)
4 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut a lid about 4" in diameter out of top of pumpkin and set lid aside.  Remove and discard seeds and strings.  Rub inside of pumpkin and lid with 1 Tbsp softened butter, season with salt and place on a baking pan.

Melt remaining 6 Tbsp butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.  Stir in bread crumbs and cook for 2 minutes, then add nutmeg and sage and season generously with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat, stir in cheese, then spoon mixture into pumpkin.  Pour enough stock into pumpkin to come within 1/2" of the rim.  Lay bay leaves on top, then fit lid onto pumpkin.

Bake until pumpkin begins to soften and brown on the outside and the stock bubbles on the inside, about 1 1/2 hours.  Carefully remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter.  With a long-handled spoon, scrape flesh from bottom and sides of pumpkin and, just before serving, stir in heavy cream if using.

Just as a side note:  I'm concerned that the structure of the pumpkin may collapse when the pumpkin is scraped from the inside of the pumpkin.  Make sure this is on a sturdy surface that will accommodate all of the hot liquid if the pumpkin does collapse.

I also think I might like to scoop out the pumpkin and puree it and add it back to the simmering stock inside the pumpkin, otherwise it may be too stringy.

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