I am ordinarily not a huge winter squash fan. I used to dislike sweet and savory together when I was little, and that seems to vaguely remain when it comes to pumpkin and its brothers and sisters. But I do love the look of them and how they come in all shapes, sizes and colors and look like a little munchkin tribe.
And the other day at the farmers’ market, I could not resist buying a big plump slice of bright orange courge musquée – also called courge muscade (literally nutmeg squash), which is your typical Jack-O-Lantern shaped pumpkin. I looked at it, and suddenly I knew : soup. That’s it. I will. Make. Soup.
After researching a little for inspiration – and this included washing my hands thoroughly to leaf with care through Stéphan’s precious Larousse Gastronomique, which he let me borrow under the absolute promise that I would take care of it as if it was my firstborn child – I came up with the following recipe.
We enjoyed this soup very much. The taste is made nicely complex by the different spices, and the sweetness of the onions complements that of the courge very well, without making the soup overly sweet in a this-should-be-served-for-dessert way. Will repeat!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- A good pinch of ground chili pepper
- A 1.5-kilogram (3-pound) chunk of pumpkin (courge musquée), peeled and cut into 3-cm (1-inch) cubes
- 1/4 cup crème fraîche (substitute heavy cream and sour cream in equal parts)
- one bay leaf
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and sauté the onions and garlic with the ginger, curry, and chili powder for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the pumpkin, bay leaf, salt and pepper, and pour in water to cover. Cook over medium-low heat for 40 minutes, covered, until tender.
- Process the soup using an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender). Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche, and toasted sourdough bread.