Thursday, 30 September 2010

Recipe Thursday - New Zealand style Pumpkin Soup

My Friend Amy is hosting her 2nd Annual Fall Recipe Exchange.  You are invited to visit Amy's blog and click away for a wonderful selection of fall recipes.  Hope that you enjoy the menu and try some of them yourself.
It's autumn and pumpkins are available.  Not those huge ones that you carve up for Jack o Lanterns, but those small, flavourful ones that are meant for pie.  Well, they are also perfect for soup.  As I have mentioned previously, my niece is visiting from New Zealand and pumpkin soup is as common there as chicken noodle soup is here.  In the middle of September her friend, also from New Zealand, came to visit with her for a week.  As a treat they made us traditional pumpkin soup.  I wasn't involved in the cooking, though I did help with the peeling of the pumpkin.  I will try and write a recipe,  but I'm told it's just one of those dishes that you know how to make, that no one uses and actual recipe.

New Zealand Style Pumpkin Soup
2 smallish pie pumpkins
4 medium potatos peeled and diced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup oil
4 cups chicken broth
2 onions, diced
2 stalks celery (optional)
2 cloves garlic (optional)
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
dash of nutmeg (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the pumpkins.  Wash to remove all traces of dirt.  Cut the pumpkin and half and scoop out the seeds and most of the stringy stuff.  It doesn't matter is you get all the strings, they add flavour.  Slice the halfs into 3/4 inch strips.  Very carefully use a sharp knife to cut the peel off the pumpkin.  You will need about 1 1/2 pumpkins depending on the size of your soup pot.  The extra  slices of unpeeled pumpkin we put in a pan with oil, salt, pepper, curry powder and cumin and roasted in the oven at 425 F till soft, stirring them occasionally. 

Back to the soup.  Once the pumpkin is peeled, dice it into 3/4 inch pieces.  Place in a large soup pot.  Add the diced onion, diced potatos, butter and oil.  Add the celery and garlic if using.  Turn the heat to medium and stir frequently till the pumpkin is cooked and soft.  This will take a half hour or longer.  The pumpkin will release a fair amount of liquid while cooking.  You might have to add more oil if the pumpkin sticks.

Add the spices, chicken stock and additional water.  You can adjust the amount after you have pureed the vegetables.  Turn up the heat and bring to a boil.  Now it is time to puree.  You can use a blender, though we used an immersion blender.  Those are awesome.  Once it is blended you can add water to thin if needed.   It is quite a thick soup.  We served the soup with a dollop of sour cream.  you could also sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, fresh bacon bits.  It's a very flavourful soup. 

The girls did such a wonderful job on the soup that I wanted to treat them to something uniquely Canadian.  I made them a pan of Nanaimo Bars.  They were a hit.  For those who haven't tried these delectable bars, they are a three layer confection.  The bottom layer is chocolate, graham wafer, coconut and walnuts.  The middle is a custard and the topping is more chocolate.  You can find the recipe for Nanaimo Bars at the Kraft website.  Be sure to prepare your pan properly with either foil or layers of saran wrap or you will have difficulty getting the bars out.

On Saturday you can join with Candace at Beth Fish Reads for "Weekend Cooking".  Add a link to your food related post, whether it be a recipe, restaurant review, or other food related post. 


Shan said...

That soup sounds great. Every Saturday I make a chicken soup with pumpkin in it (Jamaican Saturday Soup.) I had never actually eaten pumpkin until I started doing this, and I love the flavour of it in soup!

And now I'm craving nanaimo bars!

Wendy said...

I am having company on Sunday and I am making squash soup for an appetizer. It is very similar to your recipe, and so yummy. Funny how we tend to gravitate to certain foods at specific times of the year. You just happen upon a display of pumpkins or squash and your mind instantly goes to certain recipes. Definitely a comfort food for me.

Miri said...

Oh what a delicious looking post! Thanks for the recipe and the link.

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) said...

I love pumpking soup. I've never tried to make it because it takes a bit of time to do it right. Someday though. For now I'm collecting recipes.

Beth F said...

I adore pumpkin soup and this one looks like a winner. I'll have to look for pie pumpkins this week at the farmers market. And those bars look fabulous too. I wish I had been there.

caite said...

I make a similar pumpkin soup, except I use the very easy canned pumpkin..but no potato. no celery..but an onion or two. and definitely garlic! curry..cumin...coriander..stock...a bit of half and half or cream..NO NUTMEG...but a bit of ground red pepper...puree...sour cream.

bermudaonion said...

Wow, that soup looks delicious! I wish I got visitors who liked to cook for me.

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

I'm reading The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood and she mentions Nanaimo Bars in one of the chapters. I had no idea what they were until now :)

JoAnn said...

Two wonderful treats! I love pumpkin soup, but have always used canned pumpkin. This is much more authentic.

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Yum. Those bars look so scrummy.

Nazmiş Teyze said...

hi Heather:) where is my price AC/DC? :))

The Single Nester said...

I have never had pumpkin anything! I do love to display them though :) I will have to try this.

Gerbera Daisy Diaries said...

Looks delicious!