Pumpkin Soup

I’ve been DYING for autumn to start. It must be a Washington thing, but I was sick of nice weather and couldn’t wait for cool crisp fall days and chilly nights. It all seems so romantic to me. One of my favorite things about autumn is the food though. Thanksgiving in particular, but also squash, spiced apple stuff, mulled cider, etc. Squash soup is one of my favorites. I love the color. I’m also trying to find ways to help offset the sweetness of squash, that’s my number one complaint with squash dishes of any kind that are supposed to be savory, there’s too much sugar present in the squash for it to work properly. There’s something about the sweetness that’s totally off putting in an entree.

I think I worked out what is necessary to make this soup work though. Curry powder. While thumbing through my spice cabinet (and trying to avoid an avalanche) I came across curry powder and it was a bit of a lightbulb over my head moment. I didn’t put enough in there to make it a noticeably curry flavored soup, just enough to cut the sweetness. For this soup recipe, I also for some reason had it set in my head that it needed to be topped with crème fraîche, despite me never actually ever having had it before in my life. So I whipped up a batch of crème fraîche.

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This pumpkin soup was easy. Bake 2 halved and gutted sugar pumpkins for an hour at 400º, allow to cool. Peel the skin and stems and crappy stuff that you don’t want to eat from the flesh, then throw the flesh into a heavy-bottomed pan (such as a cast iron dutch oven) with some chicken stock. I found that a quart wasn’t quite enough, your mileage may vary. You can always add more later. Salt and pepper the heck out of it, then add curry powder. I’m not sure how much, probably around a teaspoon, like I said, you can always add more but not take any away. Simmer for about 20 minutes, then transfer into the blender in batches, be careful not to burn the heck out of your hands/face/arms while blending hot liquids!!! When you’ve blended all of it, add back to the pot and adjust chicken stock levels as needed as well as add some crème fraîche. Crème fraîche can be simmered without having clotting issues like straight cream does. It also is a little tangy which may have helped some with the whole sweetness thing. I simmered this til I was ready to eat, so it could go for a while I’m sure. I made some little croutons by pan frying a bit of baguette in butter. It was delicious!

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