The frost in on the pumpkin and our market season is winding down. I love the transitional season of fall. Harvesting in the fields is slower and quieter. The earth is damp and full of scent. It surprises me that we still have produce to bring to market. We have had several frosts, yet some veggies are humming along. There are still plenty of fall lettuces, spinach, arugula, turnips, beets, rutabaga and kale . It’s been a great market season for us. The earth has blessed us with so much abundance. Our customers have been generous with their support and we are grateful. Market days are full of laughter, conversation and surprises. I look forward to each and every one of them.
I find that during this time of year I am craving all sorts of comfort foods: stews, casseroles, gratins and soups. One of my favorite fall soups in Curry Pumpkin. I love making it with fresh sugar pumpkins that are plentiful at the farmer’s market. We often purchase several of these to store for the months ahead. There are three ways to approach making pumpkin puree: roasting, boiling or microwaving. I far prefer the roasting method, which brings out the richness of the pumpkin, making it worth the effort. You might consider roasting two or three pumpkins when you’re doing this, as the puree is easily frozen. I freeze the puree in 2 cup increments, as this is appropriate for many recipes. Although I am an advocate for roasting pumpkins, you can’t beat the convenience of canned pumpkin. If the choice is roasting pumpkins for puree or making the soup tonight because you can a craving for it, the canned pumpkin will win out. Make sure you save the seeds if you do elect to roast your pumpkin, they are wonderful toasted.
How to roast a sugar pumpkin:
- Cut the pumpkin in half and discard the stem section and stringy pulp. Save the seeds to toast (this is best done when the seeds have not dried with the stringy pulp on them!) Rinse the seeds.
- In a shallow baking dish, place the two halves face down and cover with foil
- Roast in preheated 375 degree F oven for about 1 1/2 hours for a medium-sized sugar pumpkin until tender
- Once the roasted pumpkin has cooled, scoop out the flesh and puree or mash it
This soup can also be made with Long Island Cheese or Hubbard Squash will equal success. We make this soup for Thanksgiving, but I can never wait to the end of November to have it! If you’re doing during a holiday when the kitchen is a little wild, you can make it a day ahead and gently reheat it.
Curried Pumpkin Soup:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp Madras curry powder (this amount can be adjusted to suit your taste, less if you want a milder curry flavor)
- 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 cups organic or homemade chicken stock
- 2 cups roasted and pureed fresh pumpkin (alternatively you can used 1 15 oz can pumpkin
- 1 cup half and half
- Sour cream and fresh chives to garnish (the sour cream will also let you control the heat in is soup)
- In a large saucepan of Dutch oven saute the garlic and onion in the butter until soft and translucent. Add curry powder, salt, coriander and red pepper flakes; simmer 1 minute. Add stock and boil gently uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
- Stir in pumpkin and half and half; cook 5 minutes. Puree in batch in blender, or use an immersion blender in the pot until creamy. Serve warm or reheat to desired temperature, but do not boil.
- Top with a dollop of sour cream and chopped fresh chives.
“There is nothing like soup. It is by it’s nature eccentric: no two are ever alike, unless of course you get your soup from a can.” –Laurie Colwin