(The roasted, salted pumpkin seeds were a very tasty addition!)
- Olive oil
- 2 Tbs golden brown sugar
- 1 small butternut squash (I forgot to weigh it!)
- 1 small pie-pumpkin (appx 2.5 lbs) (I suspect canned pumpkin would work, too)
- 4-5 shallots, chopped
- 1/2 regular onion, chopped (since I had leftovers, I put 'em in!)
- 3 stalks of chopped celery (mine was kinda squishy - doesn't matter!)
- 6 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 6 small red potatoes
- 2 cans (@ 14 oz) chicken or vegetable broth
- 2+ tsp Hungarian-style sweet paprika
- 1 tsp grated (dried/powdered) ginger
- 1 tsp dried tarragon
- Nutmeg (a little goes a long way)
- 1 cup Crema Casera, Creme Fraiche or Heavy Cream
- Salt & white pepper, to taste
- Peel, de-seed and dice the squash (instructions here) and pumpkin (not as easy!) into 1/2" chunks. This is a very labor-intensive (and boring) process so call a friend and chat on the phone while you're doing it - otherwise, you'll want to give up! If you wanted to be lazy, you could probably substitute canned pumpkin (Cheater!) - but I couldn't tell you how much. When it was all said and done, I ended up with 6 cups of pumpkin+squash cubes.
- Chop the shallots, onions, celery and carrots
- Peel and chop the potatoes into 1" chunks
- Heat some olive oil in a large, heavy pan. Add the onions, celery and carrots and saute on medium-low heat 'til the onions start to turn limp and translucent. Turn the heat to low and add sugar and a sprinkling of salt. Let 'em "sweat" for appx 5-10 mins.
- Turn the heat back up to medium and add the squash/pumpkin chunks, then the potatoes. Stir 'em around and saute for maybe 5 mins 'til they begin to soften
- Add 2 cans of (chicken or vegetable) broth. Turn heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then turn down to low and simmer 'til the carrots/squash/pumpkin/
potatoes get all mushy. (Looks like the carrots are taking the longest...). Might take a couple-three hours.
- After everything gets mushy, grab your immersion blender (or let it cool and pour it into a blender/food processor, in small batches). Puree 'til thick and smooth.
- Season with sweet paprika, salt & pepper + nutmeg and tarragon, to taste.
- Add cream, re-heat and serve.
- Garnish with a swirl of thick cream and a sprig of fresh parsley - or get all crazy and sprinkle some toasted pumpkin seeds on top.
I like how the slow-cooking of the onions brings out a hint of sweetness (of course, the addition of brown sugar doesn't hurt!). And the pumpkin is also naturally sweet. This seems like it should be a fairly light (yet still "filling") soup.
Post-Script: Originally, I thought it might make a good "cold" soup. So I tried it, cold, the next day. I suppose, if it were a bit thinner, it might be okay. OTOH, I've never been much of a "cold soup person" (if there is such a thing!), so I'm just leaning toward "It's better, served hot!"
(Just don't forget the pumpkin seeds! They really are a wonderful addition!)