Sunday, November 11, 2012

Rosie Makes Pumpkin Soup.

Come join me while I ponder 
these two pumpkins and their fate.

Since Halloween is next week,
and Thanksgiving next month,
and pumpkins will be involved
in both instances,
I'm making pumpkin soup today.

(What can I say?
I have a backlog of posts.
And I'm opening the flood gates
a wee bit at a time.)

I'm looking at the above picture of my pumpkin soup.
It truly isn't pretty.
I was complaining about this fact
to friend and fellow blogger, Marilyn,
of Foodies Untie blogdom.
 Mar admitted it's hard to get a picture
of pumpkin soup that looks really good.
And I sent her that picture.
She then, very diplomatically,
 responded that my soup was "rustic."

Well, what she said was:

"I think yours still looks nice.
  It's rustic. It's real.
 It looks like comfort food.
 It doesn't look like food that's been prettified and gussied up."
Thanks, Mar.
I'll take rustic any day ...

 When in doubt,
get in there and cut something.

My poor lil punkin' ---
--- he gots a haidache.

 Remove stringy, pithy stuff and seeds.
Reserve seeds.

 Scrape out the seeds and the fiber.

 You want your pumpkins clean-shaven.

 By the way,
these are fairly small pumpkins.
About 6 inches in diameter.

 Brush pumpkin halves with melted butter.

 Top with lids.
Put into a 300 degree oven for 1 hour.

 While the pumpkins are baking,
clean the pulp out of the seeds.

 Rinse the pulp off.

 Spread pumpkin seeds out
onto a colorful, striped kitchen towel.
Let dry.

 This is my pumpkin after
 one hour of cookery.
When I took off the lid,
the flesh slid back into the bowl.
Check it out in the above photo.

My pumpkins look like ceramics.

More inner pumpkin released.


 I like steam.

 Welcome to the mind of Rosie Hawthorne.
You are watching pumpkin soup unveil.
I'm actually writing notes down 
as the pumpkin soup reveals itself to me.
 You are witnessing Rosie's Mind At Work.

First, I toasted pumpkin seeds:
  I'm gathering spices for the pumpkin seeds.
A few shakes each of granulated garlic,
onion powder,
cayenne powder,
sea salt (smoked, in my case),
 crushed red peppers,
and the zest of two oranges.

 Turn oven to 300 degrees.
Place foil-covered baking sheet
with 2 TB butter and 2 TB oil in the oven
and let butter melt.
Coat pumpkin seeds in butter
add spices, and toss to distribute.
Toast seeds, turning every 10 minutes

After 30 minutes,
 I cut off the heat
and left the pumpkin seeds
in the cooling-off oven for an hour or so.
You want them nicely browned.

 I added the juice of two oranges
to my quart of pumpkin.

And for you sticklers out there
that might look at that quart measuring cup
and see I only have 2 cups in there,
not to worry.
I ended up using the other two quarts.
As I said, 
welcome to the mind of Rosie.
You are witness.

That said,
here's what I wrote down:

 All the time, people encourage me to write a cook book.
This would be my recipe for Pumpkin Soup.
And people think I should write a cook book.

I start with a basic idea...
in this case Pumpkin Soup.
My experience to pumpkins
has been limited to pumpkin pies,
which I don't like -
not a fan of the pie -
not a fan of the pump.
But I can be.

So, for Pumpkin Soup,
instead of going with a sweet version,
I'm going for savory.

Rosie's Soupe au Potiron avec Haricots Noir.

1 10-inch length of kielbasa, cut on diagonal
1 TB butter
1 TB oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 QT cooked pumpkin pulp
juice of 2 oranges 
zest of 2 oranges
1 QT beef  consommé
(I use homemade beef consommé.
You may substitute beef broth or stock.)
2 cups cooked black beans (reserve a handful for topping)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
 pecans or walnut pieces (optional)

Over medium heat, melt butter.
Add in oil.
The butter is for flavor;
the oil is to raise the smoke point of the butter.

Add in sliced kielbasa. 
Cook the kielbasa until nicely browned.
I realized at this point that I had
huge honkin' pieces of kielbasa,
so I decided to cube them.
I wanted daintier, bite-sized pieces for my soup.
When the keilbasa is browned
add in garlic and onion.
Cook over low heat for a minute or two.

Zest the oranges first and reserve the zest for the pumpkin seeds.
Add the juice of the oranges to the pumpkin.

Add pumpkin to the kielbasa
and heat through.
Slowly add about half of the beef consommé.

In a small processor,
 add about two cups of the black beans
and 1/2 to 1 cup beef consommé.
Process until you have a black bean puree.
Add the puree to the pumpkin.
This will thicken the soup a bit 
and impart an earthy undertone.

Cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally.
Before serving,
add in peeled and diced apples
and heat through.

And of course I like to serve the soup
in its own little pumpkin shell.
Top with reserved black beans and pumpkin seeds.
 I procured a frozen quart of my beef consomme
and heated it through over low heat.
Minced onion and garlic.

Sliced kielbasa.

Kielbasa goes into hot oil and melted butter.

Cook kielbasa until browned.
And cut into bite-sized pieces.
The slices I cut were two big for serving,
so I cut them while sautéing them.

Add in onion and garlic.

Cook for about 2 minutes.

Add in pumpkin.

Gradually add in half the beef consommé.
Add in bean puree and keep cooking over low heat,
until soup thickens, stirring occasionally.
About 10 minutes.

Add in the rest of the pumpkin and consommé.
Heat through, stirring occasionally.

Peel and dice your apples.

And add apples to soup.
Heat through.

Ladle into pumpkin bowls.
Top with reserved black beans,
pumpkin seeds,
and pecans or walnuts if you're so inclined.

This is one rib-sticking, hearty soup.

Dare I say it was ... comforting?

You need to get a spoonful of soup,
black bean, kielbasa, and apple
all in one.
We're talking about some serious soup here.

Mr. Hawthorne kept going back to the pan
to get more of
Rosie's Soupe au Potiron avec Haricots Noir.
That's an endorsement.


Marilyn said...

I love how the soup looks in the pumpkin bowls. And thanks for the idea to put kielbasa in pumpkin soup.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

You are kind, Mar.

"Rustic" was so nice.