- Prep time
- 1 hour PT1H
- Cook time
- 30 minutes PT30M
- 6 servings
This pumpkin soup makes a wonderful addition to a holiday supper, late-afternoon meal or Sunday brunch. With hints of spice, citrus and cream, it matches well with most medium to bold white wines, especially those with nuances of crisp apple, pear and toasty oak.
- 1 small pumpkin (about 2 pounds), or 2 cans pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¾ cup chardonnay or dry white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream or half and half
- Kosher or sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
- Crème fraîche and thyme sprigs, for garnish
If making your own pumpkin puree, start by cutting pumpkin in half. Scoop out seeds and place pumpkin cut-side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake pumpkin in oven at 400°F for about 1 hour, or until the flesh is soft. Remove from oven, allow pumpkin to cool completely, then peel and chop.
Melt butter in an 8-quart pot. Sauté onion in butter until translucent. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add chopped pumpkin (or canned pumpkin puree, if using), chicken broth, orange juice, thyme, nutmeg, allspice, maple syrup and wine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Process mixture in a blender until completely smooth—it may take 2 batches. Pour back into pot and add heavy cream. Bring back to a simmer over low heat. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Serve pumpkin soup hot or chilled, garnished with fresh thyme sprigs and a dollop of crème fraîche.
Techniques used in this recipe:
- simmer (I)
- simmer (I): to maintain the temperature of a liquid just below boiling.
- roast: a dry heat cooking method in which items are cooked in an oven or on a spit over a fire.
- puree: to process food (by mashing, straining, or chopping it very fine) in order to make it a smooth paste. Also, a product produced using this technique.
- mince: to chop into very small pieces.
- dice: to cut ingredients into small cubes (1/4 inch for small, 1/3 inch for medium, 3/4 inch for large).
- chop (I)
- chop (I): to cut into pieces of roughly the same size.
- <p><strong>thyme:</strong> the leaf of a bushy, low-growing perennial native to southern Europe; it belongs to the mint family. Principal producing areas are California and France. There are many varieties of thyme but two are primarily used - French Thyme and variegated or Lemon Thyme which is characterized by its fragrant, lemony aroma.</p><p>Thyme leaves flavor a wide range of dishes - from soups and stews to poultry and meats to sauces and vegetables. Try sautéing snap pea pods in olive oil with fresh thyme leaves and minced lemon zest; season with sea salt and cracked black pepper just prior to serving.</p>
- <p><strong>nutmeg:</strong> the tree is an attractive evergreen native to the Spice Islands. It attains a height of approximately 30 feet and its foliage is, in many respects, similar to the Rhododendron.</p><p>Nutmeg is most commonly available is ground form and is used primarily in baked goods however it is also a necessary ingredient in the mother sauce, bechamel.</p><p>Whole nutmeg is gaining ground in many household pantries. Use a <em>microplane</em> to grate the nut fresh into sauces, desserts, hot beverages and for breads. While it may seem inconvenient to grate nutmeg when ground nutmeg is so readily available, your dish will benefit greatly from this step.</p>
- <strong>broth:</strong> a flavorful, aromatic liquid made by simmering water or stock with meat, vegetables, and/or spices and herbs.
- <p><strong>allspice:</strong> so named because its aroma and flavor resembles several spices, principally nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. Native to tropical America is has the distinction of being the only spice produced exclusively in the Western Hemisphere; the best quality allspice usually comes from Jamaica but it is also produced in Mexico and other Central American countries.</p><p>When picked, the berry is approximately 1/4-inch in diameter and green in color. The characteristic reedish-brown color results from the sun-drying process.</p><p> The most common uses of allspice (either whole or ground) are in pickles, relishes, cakes and cookies, stewed and preserved fruits, mincemeat, and tomato-base sauces.</p>
An ancient natural mutation of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris can vary dramatically in taste depending on where it is grown. In the Tre Venezie in Italy, where it is known as Pinot Grigio, it is often a simple, light, crisp wine. However, Italian Pinot Grigio shows little similarity to the majestic, lavish, sometimes spicy Pinot Gris of Alsace. The aromas of Pinot Gris suggest peach skins or orange rind. Pinot Grigio is currently the best-selling imported wine in the United States, and it's fun to say too!
A classic white wine made famous in Burgundy, France, it's now grown all over the world. It takes oak well and is often fermented and aged in oak barrels. Full bodied, with rich flavors of vanilla, butter, green apple and tropical fruit (banana, pineapple).