Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Pumpkin Soup with Wild Mushrooms

Pumpkin Soup with Wild Mushrooms
From Simply in Season: 12 Months of Wine Country Cooking

Printable Recipe

Prep time: 45 minutes (can even be done a day ahead)
Cooking time 40 minutes

½ cup dried porcini mushrooms or 2 cups fresh wild mushrooms, cleaned and chopped (Ruth’s note: I found a huge jar of mixed dried wild mushrooms at Costco – 454 g/16oz for $14.95!!!)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, white parts only, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp honey
8 cups pumpkin, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup orange juice
1/3 cup 35% cream
5 sage leaves
6 whole cloves
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

If using dried mushrooms:

1. Pour 1 cup boiling water over dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and let stand for 30 minutes or until the water has cooled to room temperature. Drain and rinse the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid and mushrooms separately.

2. Heat a large saucepan (I used a Dutch oven) over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter foams, add the leeks, onion and garlic and soaked or fresh mushrooms. Sauté stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the honey.

3. Add the pumpkin, chicken stock, orange juice and mushroom soaking liquid. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft (Ruth’s note: I must have cut the pumpkin too coarsely as it took much longer to cook). Stir in the cream, sage and cloves and simmer for 5 minutes more.

4. The book recommends transferring the soup to a blender, not a food processor, and blend until smooth. Strain the soup through a fine mesh sieve, discarding solids. Return to the rinsed out saucepan.
My version is more rustic, and less clean up…I use an immersion blender in the Dutch oven. First remove the cloves and sage leaves. I loved the flecks of mushroom. Season with salt & pepper to taste and serve. Next time, I’ll sauté some thinly sliced mushrooms in some butter to serve as garnish. I really did like it better the next day…way more flavor.

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