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Italian Pumpkin Soup

December 9, 2010
FYI: http://www.delawareonline.com/blogs/secondhelpings is a blog written by editor Patricia Talorico who dishes about dining, shares cooking experiences and offers scoops on the local and national culinary scene.  Below is her post of Wednesday, November 7, 2007 about Italian Pumpkin Soup!  Somehow I’d saved it on my computer which is awesome because I tend to delete everything after a few months.  Hope you enjoy her post.  Lots of good information about her local area restaurants.  So if you are in her area of the country or planning a visit, I think you’ll appreciate the reposting of her post.  I enjoy reading this blog but have not read it for some time so I hope it is still active!

Here is the reprint of Patricia Talorico’s article:

I have a soft spot for pumpkin soup.
The pumpkin mushroom soup at the Back Burner is always a must-order dish when I visit the Hockessin restaurant. You also can buy quarts of it at the next-door take-out shop, Back Burner to Go.
While in Florence last Saturday, we tried to eat atCibreo Teatro del Sale, a great restaurant where you pay a 5 Euro membership fee and 25 Euro for dinner and can have all the food and wine you want. (They also have entertainment. That night it was Chicago jazz, believe it or not) But, sorry, no reservations available.
Then, we tried Il Cibreo, a popular haunt for many foodies. Again, no seats there or at their nearby trattoria. (It was All Saints weekend, a popular holiday in Italy.)
Strolling the streets of the historic Santa Croce district, we spied Bistrot Baldoria, a hip, fun restaurant on the piazza that had carved, mini jack o’lanterns votives on the tables. One look at the menu – creamy pumpkin soup – and I was hooked. The owner, a young woman, served us the soup and said she had opened the restaurant, which served modern versions of classic Florentine dishes, only two months earlier. (No web site yet.)
The velvety pumpkin soup, a chef’s special, was made of sweet roasted pumpkin purée and some fresh rosemary and thyme. (It was probably thinned with either water or chicken broth and a whisper of cream.) A round of lightly grilled polenta rested on the bottom of the bowl. Aged balsamic vinegar was lightly swirled on top and the soup was garnished with two slices of cooked spiced apples.
Talk about autumn in a bowl! It was simple, not overly sweet and utterly delicious. I can’t wait to get into the kitchen and try to reproduce it.
(((now for the Italian Pumpkin Soup recipe I like to use when I am in the ‘I want to impress you’ mode)))
Roast a medium pumpkin in the oven for 30 or 40 minutes prior to making soup. This recipe works best with fresh pumpkin. I like to use sugar pumpkins for this soup.
 

Ingredients

1 medium pumpkin
2 potatoes diced and cooked not all the way through
2 carrots diced and blanched
Italian sausage(sweet)or if you prefer (hot)
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp thyme
salt pepper to taste
8-oz heavy cream
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 diced yellow onion
1 clove garlic
pumpkin seeds for garnish

Preparation

Begin with preparing the pumpkin. Roast pumpkin in oven at 350 degree 30 -40 minutes
Scrape the meat from shell, purée in blender. While this is baking cook potatoes in a cup of salted water, until just tender. Discard water when done, 10 minutes approximately
In a soup pot add chicken broth let it come to a boil, add onion, garlic, carrot. Simmer for 15 minutes until carrots and onions get tender, strain onion, carrot mixture and add to blender with pumpkin and purée for a nice smooth texture. Heat a pan for sausage, cut casings from sausage and slowly brown over medium heat until medium well. Discard any grease onto paper towel.Set aside the sausage. Add the pureed mixture to the broth,add the potatoes, cream, then add thyme, nutmeg, and allspice, let this simmer no more than ten minutes for spices and herbs to marry with pumpkin. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds. Set soup inside the pumpkin carcass and ladle from the pumpkin into soup bowls. Goes well with large Garlic Croutons.

You can read more at:  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/ITALIAN-PUMPKIN-SOUP-1213550#ixzz17dibqgsX … I love this site for some delicious recipes but admit most of the recipes are not simple or easy ones for a beginning cook.  But you know what?  Stretching oneself is never a bad thing to do.

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