Cinderella Pumpkin Soup

Cinderella Pumpkin Soup

Cinderella pumpkins are a bright orange heirloom variety increasingly available at farmers’ markets. If not at hand, substitute pie pumpkins or switch it up with a squash such as butternut.

1 small Cinderella pumpkin (about 2 lb/1 kg)
1/4 cup (60 mL) brown sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
1 onion, diced
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
1 small celery root, diced
1 – 1 in (2 cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
6 cups (1.5 L) chicken stock
1/2 tsp (2 mL) whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp (5 mL) whole star anise
Fleur de sel
Brown sugar
Butter
2 tsp (10 mL) sherry vinegar

Pumpkin Seeds

1/4 cup (60 mL) reserved pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup (60 mL) grapeseed oil
1 tsp (5 mL) fleur de sel

Mushroom Garnish

1 cup (250 mL) hedgehog mushrooms, cut into quarters
1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Slice pumpkin into quarters, removing stem and seeds. Reserve seeds. Arrange pumpkin quarters on a baking tray, sprinkle on brown sugar, dot with 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, and bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and peel. Roughly dice and set aside with any juices from the baking pan.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 F (180 C). Toss reserved pumpkin seeds, oil, and salt in a bowl, spread out on a baking tray, and bake 15 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter in a pot over medium-high heat; add onion, apple, celery root, and ginger and sweat about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, bring to boil, and reduce to simmer.

In a blender grind whole cloves, cinnamon stick, and star anise. Add 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) of this spice mixture to vegetables, along with reserved baked pumpkin and juices.

Cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pur?in a blender. Season with salt and brown sugar to taste, adding more butter if needed to make a very smooth pur? Add sherry vinegar, strain soup through a fine strainer and keep warm.

In a separate pan sweat mushrooms in butter for 3 or 4 minutes over medium-high heat, being careful not to brown them.

To serve, whisk soup to give it a bubbly texture and pour it into 6 heated soup plates. Garnish each plate with pumpkin seeds and mushrooms and serve.

Serves 6

source: “Rustic Regionalism“, alive #313, November 2008

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