Both last year and this year, a few days before Halloween, my husband and I visited a pumpkin patch in search of the pumpkins that would fit his carving plans. This year, it was raining, so here is a photo of the expedition from last year.
Besides the pumpkin patch, Warren Creek Farms creates a corn maze (every year with a different design), a big attraction for my husband. After successfully exiting the maze, he chose two pumpkins for carving, while I selected two small for cooking (plus a few other winter squashes from the great selection offered at the farm). Last year, I made Roasted Pumpkin-Apple Soup several times, as mentioned in the post on gougères al gouda. On that occasion, I didn't give details about my realization of the original recipe from EatingWell magazine, so here I will talk a bit more about different realizations of it.
I have made this soup with both pumpkin and butternut squash and in terms of apples (mele), I mostly used Mutsu, of which we have a nice supply, thanks to a local producer. As you can see from the title of this post, for the most recent rendition, I changed the fruit, spurred by the availability of some ripe Asian pears I had received as part of my CSA box. Here is the list of ingredients I used:
- a pumpkin (a bit more than 3 pounds), cut in half, seeded, cut into wedges, peeled, and cut into 2-inch chunks (roughly)
- 2 Asian pears (about a pound) unpeeled, cored and cut into eighths
- olive oil (olio d'oliva)
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (salvia), from my little herb garden
- 2 cups homemade chicken stock and 2 cups of water
I mostly follow the given instructions for roasting the pumpkin and fruit. However, I line the baking sheet with my silicone baking mat. I then use my sprayer to distribute olive oil on the pumpkin and fruit pieces, so I use a smaller quantity of oil. I sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper and toss well before putting into the oven. Mostly, though, I do my seasoning at the very end, because my homemade chicken stock contains salt. After roasting the pumpkin and fruit as per the given instructions, I add the liquids and use my immersion blender to purée the soup. As I mentioned before, I have a preference for dense soups, so I tend to be parsimonious with liquid. You don't have to follow me in this.
After the final heating and seasoning adjustment, it is time to choose the topping. The photo shows some chopped toasted walnuts (noci), and I have also used some crumbled Caerphilly cheese (more on my homemade version of this cheese in an upcoming post). The flavor of pear is strong and I like it that way. The same can be said of the flavor of apple in the relevant version. The soup's flavor depends on the stock (or broth, as in the original recipe), so make sure you use something of good quality (your homemade broth and stock is, of course, the best option). I will be making this soup again with other kinds of pears. In the meantime, I am hoarding pumpkins and winter squashes. I can't help it. One of these days, I'll show you my stash.
This is my contribution to edition #259 of Weekend Herb Blogging, an event started by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen, now organized by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once and hosted this week by Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook.
This post has the roundup of the event.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the zuppa di zucca e pere arrosto audio file [mp3].
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