Saturday, October 4, 2008


The October 2008 issue of Better Homes & Gardens had this interesting pumpkin soup recipe. It's not the curry that's interesting. It's the unusual orange-cranberry topper. I wasn't sure it would work, but it was worth a try. The soup itself is just ok -- that is, until you add the topper. Then it comes alive. The cranberries, orange zest and parsley somehow are the perfect complement to this soup. It's not my favorite pumpkin soup recipe, but I would make it again. It was thoroughly enjoyable. (I actually have two favorites to date: Fantastic Fennel Pumpkin Soup and James Beard's Pumpkin Soup.) Let me make it clear: I would willingly and happily eat this soup again any time, even if it's not one of my top faves.
Curry Pumpkin Soup
Rating: 8 out of 10
Orange-Cranberry Topper: 1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp. orange zest
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
In small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
Soup: 2 Tbsp. butter or Smart Balance buttery spread
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup carrot, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
(2) 15-oz. cans pumpkin
(2) 14-oz. cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
2/3 cup water
1 cup half and half or light cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
In 4-qt. Dutch oven melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, carrot and celery. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add curry powder and pumpkin pie spice. Cook and stir one minute. Add pumpkin, broth and water. Increase heat to medium high; bring to boiling. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Use an immersion blender to puree soup in pot; or process in blender or food processor and return to pot. Stir half and half, salt and pepper into pumpkin mixture; heat through. Sprinkle each serving with Orange-Cranberry Topper. Serves 8.
Fat-free half and half may be used. Land o'Lakes is recommended.
Freshly cooked or roasted (or frozen) butternut squash may be used instead of pumpkin.
Soup may be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months. Thaw, reheat and sprinkle with topping before serving.

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