Last month’s cooking club was hosted by the lovely Kim, our lone vegetarian. One of my favorite cooking club conversations occurred thanks to her eating habits, (plus a few glasses of wine and some sheer honesty).
Bianca: “Kim. To be honest, I didn’t know if I’d like you after I heard we had a vegetarian in the club. But I really do. You are fantastic.”
Kim: “Thanks, Bianca. I’m happy I changed your mind.”
Appropriately enough, her theme was a vegetarian fall harvest, which was delicious. One of the highlights from the meal was a creamy, slightly spicy pumpkin soup.
This recipe serves eight.
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1/8 to ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp curry powder
½ tsp ground coriander
Pinch of ground cayenne pepper (optional)
3 (15 oz) cans of 100% pumpkin (or 6 cups chopped roasted pumpkin*)
5 cups vegetable broth
2 cups milk
½ c brown sugar
½ c heavy cream
1 tsp salt
Melt butter in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stir often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add spices and stir for another minute.
Add pumpkin and 5 cups of broth; blend well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Transfer soup, in batches to blender or food processor. Cover tightly and blend until smooth. Return to saucepan.
With the soup on low heat, add brown sugar and mix. Slowly add milk while stirring. Add cream and salt. Adjust seasonings to taste. (More cream if too spicy).
*To make pumpkin puree, cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on tin-foil lined baking pan. Bake at 350 until soft (45-60 min). Cool, scoop out flesh.*