Sunday, September 16, 2007

Warming Up For the Great Pumpkin Slaughter

It's never nice to start a recipe and then find you lack the most important agreement; this is precisely what happened to me tonight when I decided to test... well, we'll get to that later.

I went into the pantry and rummaged around, then exclaimed, "Oh, bloody hell. We don't have any canned pumpkin! All we have is pumpkin pie filling!"

And at that moment, while I had a pot full of onions and chicken stock on the stove, I called Barb. Barb, as it turned out, was at work, was on break, and was miserable because of allergies. Ah-ha! An excuse for me to drop everything and run to her place of employ, which also happens to be a purveyor of edibles, which would be both an errand of mercy and a way to pick up some canned pumpkin. So, after hunting down the DayQuil, I rushed out of the house. Poor Barb. I hope she feels better. And I got four cans of pumpkin. Yay!

Pumpkin Soup:

  • 1 medium onion, finely minced
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 5 cups chicken stock (yes, you can use canned if you don't have home made)
  • 2 15 oz cans pumpkin (NOT PIE FILLING! It's sweet... that's why.)
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 black pepper
  • 3 tbsp dry sherry
  • 1/2 beef kielbasa sausage ring, cut into small pieces
  1. Reserve half the stick of butter to be added later; melt the rest in a large pot and add the onions, cooking them until they're translucent. Add the spices, including the bay leaf. Most spices, according to the folks at America's Test Kitchen, are oil soluble, so letting them steep in the hot oil allows the flavors and smells to "bloom".
  2. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the remaining butter, sausage, and pumpkin puree, stirring until the sausage is cooked through (or at least cooked the rest of the way) and the lumps of pumpkin are broken up.
  3. Add the sherry and milk, and stir. Let the soup simmer for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Don't forget to fish out the bay leaf before you serve the soup!

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