Our friends Janie and Ken invited us over for a “Harvest Potluck” dinner, and since it was getting autumn-y outside, I started thinking about squash and about soup. I’m not a huge fan of squash as a general category of foodstuffs, probably because I never really had it that often as a kid. I do, however, like Alton Brown’s butternut squash soup, but I decided (just to shake things up, because I’m a rebel, you see) to make it with pumpkin, and to make a few other changes.
It’s a pretty simple recipe, and it starts out with roasting the pumpkin. It’s much easier to get pumpkin out of the skin when it’s cooked, and it’s a chance to add flavor. So, here it is, quartered, brushed with melted butter, and sprinkled with a little salt, pepper, and brown sugar.
When it comes out of the oven, I chunked it up, and simmered it in the chicken broth with the ground ginger and, instead of honey, maple syrup. Wasn’t that clever? Maple seems like a more seasonally-appropriate flavor somehow. Anyway, once everything looked nice and soft, I buzzed it with my fancy stick blender. That thing is awesome.
Once it was smooth, I stirred in some heavy cream, and grated over some nutmeg. (At this point, I’d like to add a quick aside: I know that my cousins, the Rosenbergs, visit this site from time to time. Hi, cousins! I just want to let you know that, contrary to what you’ve seen posted here so far, not everything I cook is trayf. One of these days I’ll post something that won’t horrify you guys. I suppose you could make this with vegetable broth. There you go. Let’s just all agree that I made this with vegetable broth.)
Because I like to be all fancy-like, I decided to serve the pumpkin soup in … wait for it … a pumpkin. I know, I just blew your mind.
So, I’m not sure exactly where I got this idea. I think I must have seen another recipe on the web somewhere which is where I got the maple idea in the first place, but: maple cream. Think about it, is that not the most delicious thing you can think of? Instead of serving the soup with sour cream or some such thing, maple cream takes it further in the sweet direction, which is, honestly, what I associate with pumpkin. So, I just whipped a half-pint of heavy cream with a drizzle of maple syrup. (And isn’t this a cool picture?)
Sprinkle a little crystallized ginger over it, and voila. It’s a harvest potluck dinner. (Ken, by the way, made a braised beef dish that was succulent, and Janie made a scrumptious potato lasagne. So, so good.)
As usual, all these beautiful pictures were taken by Rachel.