Saturday, November 8, 2008

Soups on!

soup
It's definitely soup weather here - windy, cloudy and downright cold! I stockpiled a bunch of pie pumpkins and squash from a roadside farm stand before his season was over, to have on hand for this and this. So what to do with all that wonderful orange pumpkin flesh? I've been adding it to one of my favorite soup recipes, a Southwest style chicken soup. The result is excellent - thicker and heartier, real 'stick to your ribs' fare.

First I half and seed a pie pumpkin, then brush the inside with a thin layer of olive oil. Bake at 350 until nice and soft, about an hour and 20 minutes (for my oven.) Cool slightly then scoop out the flesh and mash with a 'tater masher. So pretty!

soup

soup

In your soup pot saute half a chopped onion and 2 - 3 cloves minced garlic in some butter until soft (don't burn!) Add two cans chopped tomatoes (I like the Muir Glenn organic fire-roasted ones,) about 3 cups of chicken stock, half a cup of your favorite salsa, a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, a teaspoon (or less) of cumin and a couple teaspoons of chili powder (more or less to your taste). Salt to taste. Add two cooked chicken breasts, sliced. Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least 10 minutes to blend the seasonings. Stir in the cooked mashed pumpkin a little at a time until its as thick and pumpkin-y as you like (keep tasting.) Depending on the size of the pumpkin you may have some left over. Adjust seasonings (you'll probably need to add more salt.) Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese, chopped avocado, chopped fresh cilantro and a lime wedge. This soup will make you very, very happy.

soup

soup
As you can see I didn't have the cilantro or lime for the photo shoot. My bad.

This makes 4 servings. Optional ingredients are a can of black beans and/or corn. Enjoy!
You can easily make this vegetarian using veggie stock and no chicken.

4 comments:

Karen J-S said...

That looks really good Kathleen...pretty easy too! I love making my Taco Soup; this has a nice twist to it.

Ok, what's the difference between a "pie pumpkin" and a pumpkin?

Kathleen said...

Hi Karen,
The difference is that pie pumpkins are sweeter and more tender, and the larger carving pumpkins tend to be stringy and a bit watery when you cook them. Not that you can't eat the carving pumpkins of course. Culinary vs. Decorative, I guess is the best way to put it. :-)

marnie vollenhals said...

That looks amazing. I love to cook as well, but I don't dabble in soups that much...I might have to now.

Nikki said...

That looks great! I admire your culinary bravery. I'm very hungry now!!