Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Ginger Soup 10/31/2009

Another week, another Saturday soup.  And what else to make on Halloween but Pumpkin Soup.  I have a recipe for a Curry Pumpkin Soup, but I wanted to try something a bit different and I wanted to use a real pumpkin instead of the canned puree.  So here goes with this week's recipe.

2 Tbls butter
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin
1 medium pumpkin or 6 c. pumpkin puree
1 box of chicken broth
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp cloves and add more nutmeg)
Fresh nutmeg, several passes on the grater
1 c. cream or half and half

Cut pumpkin in half, remove the stem and seeds.  Place skin side down in a roasting pan, put in 1-2 inches of water, cover with foil bake at 300 until tender.

Saute onion, red pepper in butter.  Add garlic and ginger after the onions and red pepper have softened. Let the whole mixture saute to bring out the flavors.  Add salt and pepper, just under 1/2 tsp each.

Add pumpkin and chicken broth.  Let simmer about 30 minutes.  (I tend to let the soup simmer while I finish other things on my list, sometimes it is 30 minutes, other times it is up to 1 hour).

Puree the soup with a hand blender or in batches with a food processor or blender.

Add the pumpkin pie spice, freshly grated nutmeg and more salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in the cream, heat until the cream gets warmed up.

We served the soup with some sun dried tomato and chicken sausage, just a little spicy, but good.

This one turned out well.  Patrick suggests serving next time with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cream of Chile Soup - 10/24/2009

Last year we started a tradition of having soup every Saturday during winter. We tried a variety of soups last year and have been collecting recipes in anticipation of the cold weather for our new winter of soups to begin.

Today it is Cream of Chile Soup. Mostly because we bought too many pasillo peppers last week. I usually start with a recipe and then adjust as I go. I tend to do things like chop up the whole onion rather than stopping at exactly 2 cups. I use the last nub of butter instead of cutting off exactly 2 tbls. Since it is soup, it doesn't matter as much.

So here is the recipe - my way.

2-3 Chicken breasts
2 tbls butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped (frozen from our garden)
7-9 pasilla or poblano peppers, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
3-5 potatoes
1 box chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 can of corn
Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
Tortilla chips
Cilantro - optional

Bake the chicken with some oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.

Saute butter, red pepper, onion, pasilla peppers, jalapeño, garlic, oregano, bay leaves. (I turn the pan on med-high, put the butter in and start chopping, adding the ingredients as I finish chopping each one and adding the spices at the end).

While still sauteing, peel and chop 3-5 potatoes.

Move the saute mixture to a large pot, add the potatoes, chicken broth, cumin, salt and pepper. Let simmer until the potatoes fall apart. (Yes you could just put all the saute mixture into the large pot from the beginning, but I find I get a better flavor when I use my saute pan.)

When the potatoes are easily smashed with a spoon, remove the bay leaves.  Puree about 1/3 of the soup in food processor with the cream.  (If I had a hand blender I would just use it in the pot, still leaving some of the bits whole and chunky.) Add the puree mixture and the can of corn back to the pot.

Shred the chicken, add to the pot.  Heat until warmed all the way through.

Serve with shredded cheese, tortilla chips and cilantro (if using).

Turned out well - this one is a keeper!