Spiced Pumpkin Soup
From The Soup Club Cookbook
You can substitute any variety of winter squash for the pumpkins or try mixing in sweet potatoes. To finish, consider stirring in a spoonful of pesto made with thyme, parsley, and pepitas to add color and to balance the sweetness of the pumpkins.
MAKES 8 QUARTSIngredients
1/4 cup Stew Leonard’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tbs. Cumin Seeds
3 tbs. Mustard Seeds
4 medium Yellow Onions, roughly chopped
3 tbs. Fresh Ginger, chopped and peeled
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
5 tsp. Salt, plus more to taste
4 small Pumpkins, (6 to 8 inches in diameter) or 10 lbs. (about 34 cups) peeled and roughly chopped
1-1/2 lbs. Baby Carrots, roughly chopped
1-1/2 cups Powdered Milk
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
4 Demi Baguettes
2 cups Creme Fraiche
2 cups Pepitas, (raw green pumpkin seeds), toasted
1 bunch Thyme
Heat the oil in the stockpot over medium heat and add the cumin and mustard seeds. Toast the seeds until fragrant and lightly browned, being careful not to burn them, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions, ginger, cinnamon, and salt and saute until the onions are soft, about 7 minutes.
Put the chopped pumpkin and carrots in the stockpot with 3 quarts of cold water and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer, loosely covered, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove the soup from the heat. Stir in the powdered milk, and puree with an immersion blender. Add water if needed for the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with a demi-baguette and one quarter of the crème fraîche, pepitas, and thyme.
Peeling pumpkins is easier than you might think: After washing the pumpkins thoroughly, dry them well and place on a cutting board. You want to place a kitchen towel under the pumpkin that you’re about to slice to hold it in place. Turn the pumpkin on its side and slice ½ inch off each end. Grasping the pumpkin firmly, use a knife or a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to remove the skin. Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, and roughly chop.