Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Secret of Pumpkin Soup, Critical Mom Style

OK, I stole the recipe.  The recipe belongs to my very nice neighbor, the lady I run into on the tram platform, and it is delicious--especially on cool or wintry days.

You will need:

•A hand blender--the kind you can insert right into the pot.  A food processor will do if you don't have this, but it's messier.
•Olive oil
•A medium-sized Hokkaido pumpkin (but a big slice of some other kind of pumpkin is also okay).  I'd stay away from the canned stuff
•A red onion
•Garlic--a few cloves
•Ginger--at least a piece the size of half a thumb
•A cup or two of chicken broth (the instant powder is okay, but of course fresh is always best)
•THE SECRET: Applesauce--about a cup and a half of it.

First, heat some olive oil (a tablespoon or two) in a large pot.  Dice the onion and add it.  Dice the garlic and ginger; add the garlic as the onion begins to smell good and then when you can smell the garlic too, add the ginger. 

Meanwhile, chop the pumpkin into chunks--throw away the seeds, unless you're using a regular pumpkin, whose seeds can be roasted.  Hokkaido seeds don't taste that great.  Add the chunks of Hokkaido pumpkin into the pot and let it all get hot, but not burned.  Add the chicken broth (you can also use vegetable broth) and stir all.  Let simmer until the pumpkin gets soft--about fifteen minutes, but depends on the size of the chunks.  Then add the applesauce.  Blend all with your hand blender.  If you like, add a sprig of mint on top.

This is truly delicious.  The applesauce adds an unexpected--and usually unidentifiable--sweetness.  But now you know the secret.

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