Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pumpkin Squash Soup – an easy make-ahead lunch to serve on Black Friday


November seems to be month of the pumpkin. I’ve seen pumpkin in one form or another in practically every food magazine and on just about everyone’s blog. It’s been the star attraction in fall displays with scarecrows to the main ingredient in hearty soups, rich bisques, individual bread puddings with caramel pecan sauce, cute little mini cakes with rum glaze, and chess pies with praline sauce.


It’s hard to believe that next week is Thanksgiving, followed by the frantic shopping sprees that lead up to Christmas. Black Friday is upon us, when thousands of people flood the malls scooping up bargain such as cashmere sweaters on sale and fighting over the last ridiculously low priced flat panel television at the discount store the day after Thanksgiving.

When I saw this recipe in Southern Living magazine I thought it would make an excellent do-ahead soup to serve on Black Friday for a much deserved leisurely lunch after shopping or while watching a football game on television. I plan to serve it with turkey sandwiches to complete the meal. The fact that this soup had an express version that cut the hands-on time in half particularly appealed to me. Roasting a whole pumpkin and dealing with cutting up an acorn squash in the original version sounded like much more work than I wanted to tackle on the week of Thanksgiving. Even the cook deserves a day off, n’est pas?

Pumpkin Squash Soup – Express Version
Adapted from Southern Living – makes about 8 cups
I encourage you to grate your own nutmeg. It tastes so much fresher than the pre-ground stuff.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon canola oil or other neutral tasting oil
1 medium-size yellow onion, finely chopped
4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
4 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth (homemade if you have it)
2 - 12 oz cans pumpkin (not the pie filling)
2 - 12oz packages of frozen squash (I used butternut)
½ cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground fresh nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
All natural pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted, for garnish

Melt butter and oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté 5 minutes or until tender, taking care that the onion doesn’t brown. Add fresh thyme and sauté 1 minute or until fragrant.

Stir in the broth along with the pumpkin and squash pulp. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool 10 minutes.

Process soup, if desired, in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return the soup to the Dutch oven and stir in the half and half, cider vinegar, ground ginger and ground nutmeg. Cook, over low heat, stirring often, 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Taste for seasonings, then and add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, garnish each serving with toasted pepitas and chopped fresh thyme leaves.

To make ahead: Store it for up to four days in the refrigerator in a container with a tight fitting lid. Bring to room temperature and gently reheat, taking care not to let it burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.

46 comments:

  1. That looks really tasty and just right for the season.

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  2. Sounds like a fabulous soup Sam. I am not even cooking for Thanksgiving. We are going to DC to spend a week with family. Seems weird not to cook. That's why I have been making all of the Thanksgiving dishes on my blog.

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  3. Yum, looks great. I bet the pepitas add a really nice crunch. Do you season them at all before toasting?

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  4. Wow no peeling dicing etc..That's a real effort and time saver..Is Thanksgiving as celebrated as Christmas? Do you exchange gifts on both occasions?

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  5. I like your idea of pumpkin soup and sandwiches to go along with a day of feet up and football on the tube!

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  6. A marvelous soup! So comforting, warming and delightful.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  7. This sounds wonderful! I love winter time and soup time! :)

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  8. Oh Sam - I think I love you. I will be doing this Thanksgiving weekend. Forget lunch - it's dinner. I must arrange left-over turkey!

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  9. Sam, our neighbors gave us some pumpkins and I've been wanting to make pumpkin soup. This recipe comes at a perfect time for me.

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  10. That sounds great!! I love pumpkins and squash. This is going in my recipe file. Thanks Sam!
    Penny

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  11. Sam, this sounds wonderful, and I can have most of the ingredients on my new diet! YEA! I will have to copy this recipe for sure.

    Thanks for sharing...

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  12. That sounds like something that would be just perfect especially if you have company the day after! I bought a Boston Marrow squash not too long ago. Have you made anything with that before?

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  13. I never tire of pumpkin and this soup looks luscious.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  14. I Love trying out different versions of Pumpkin soup ~ this one sound delicious!!
    Dianne xx

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  15. I'll have to give this a try -- I make a simpler version with just the pumpkin; this sounds delicious!

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  16. Oooh, this does look pretty incredible, Sam! I think I just may take your advice and make it for Black Friday...it will be so much better than waiting for a table somewhere! (I hate how long the lines are on Black Friday, even at "quick" places like Panera!)

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  17. Sam, this sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing. I am adding this to my soup file. Love & blessings from NC!

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  18. That sounds scrumptious and your photo is very pretty.

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  19. This looks like a luxurious soup with the touch of spice and nuances added with onions and thyme. I really am enjoying the bounty of winter squash this season.

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  20. Beautiful plating and the crunchy seeds on the lovely velvety soup looks enticing even in the middle of summer!!

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  21. A wonderful & stunning festive fall's soup!!

    Lovely styled too!

    MMMMMMMMMM,...fab food!

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  22. I agree with you about pumpkins! I've never seen so many recipes as I have this year. Well, come to find out, pumpkin is a pretty perfect food! I actually made a lowfat pumpkin cheese cake, it was delicious. I also have a pumpkin soup recipe that is fantastic. I'm going to have to try your! Thanks! Oh, I only have a few more gifts to get! Yeah!

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  23. This sounds perfect for us! A storm is coming in this weekend. A perfect time for soup. Thank you.

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  24. You're right, this would be wonderful to have waiting for you!

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  25. It's really hard to make pumpkin soup look glamorous, but you just did it.

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  26. That is my kind of soup; full of fall flavour. You nake it look wonderful; great Photo as always.

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  27. I like the combination of pumpkin and butternut squash in this soup, very nutritious and yummy. The pepitas on top are a great addition!

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  28. Sam- This is the perfect soup to have waiting for you after a morning full of shopping, crowds, and cold weather.

    Your picture of this soup is outstanding!

    A very happy Thanksgiving to you!

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  29. I must try a pumpkin soup like this. I would for sure want a big batch around to last a few days and some to freeze as well. The pepita garnish is the perfect final touch :)

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  30. I'm such a fan of pumpkin soup. I like the addition of frozen pureed squash here - vitamins and good things galore! I've just roasted and pureed a couple of pumpkins, so a batch of pumpkin soup may be just around the corner.

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  31. That's a happy holiday soup if I ever saw one, Sam. And the great thing is...it's a snap to make! Super flavors!

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  32. This sounds delicious and perfect for our cold forecast ahead! I love the pepita garnish. What a beautiful bowl of soup!

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  33. As usual, your presentation is simply elegant. I agree with you on the nutmeg. Never use the pre-ground stuff myself. Can't get enough of winter squash in any form, and this soup looks and sounds delish!

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  34. I love the 'express version'--roasting and pureeing my own pumpkin does sound a little overwhelming in these crazy holiday weeks ahead. Thanks for the recipe--it looks hearty and comforting.

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  35. The day after Thanksgiving is the perfect time to take a few shortcuts in the kitchen. By the time I have our turkey dinner on the table every pot and pan in my kitchen has been used. No matter how hard I try to prepare ahead, it always happens.

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  36. It's such a great idea to have a soup like this waiting to go on Friday! It shows how much you love to cook and how important your loved ones are to you...nothing better than coming home from a long day of shopping to a bowl of this -OR- leaving the men with this ready to go! A beautiful soup, thanks for sharing!

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  37. Yum!! This looks so creamy and delicious! I also can't believe next week is Thanksgiving - where has the year gone?!

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  38. The soup looks really comforting! Yeah, I remember people running crazy for this black Friday shopping event every year! We don't have it here in my country. How I wish we have this kind of activities too. Will save a lot spending money! Thanks for sharing & hope you're enjoying your day.
    Cheers, Kristy

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  39. That would be the perfect soup to come home to after Black Friday! Can't believe it's already here either. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  40. This would taste good on anyday. Beautiful soup Sam.

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  41. I actually like cooking on the day after thanksgiving because it's usually more about cooking for me, than cooking for everyone else the day before.

    I love the color you captured with yours, Sam! Very vibrant. Totally agree with you on fresh nutmeg (or cinnamon stick, etc for that matter).

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  42. Fabulous looking soup, the picture is amazing and I love the color.

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  43. This sounds like a nice and easy soup to make this time of the year Sam! I've been doing all my shopping on the internet so I can avoid the crowds and crowded parking lots...so no black Friday for me ! :)

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  44. Yummeoucious! :-)

    May I come over, please?

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  45. This soup sounds and looks amazing! I love cream soups! Hope you enjoyed it yesterday :)

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Sam