Spiced Pumpkin Soup Recipe

[Spiced Pumpkin Soup]

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 grocery store, 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.

Soupe De Courge Musquée Aux Epices

- A 1.5 kg (3 lbs) chunk of raw courge musquée (pumpkin), weighed skin on
- 2 yellow onions
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 C crème fraîche (substitute heavy cream and sour cream in equal parts)
- one bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
- 1/2 tsp powdered curry (from the Seychelles is best of course)
- a daring pinch of piment d’Espelette (substitute ground chili or chili pepper flakes)
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- salt and pepper

(Serves 3 to 4.)

Peel the courge. This is harder than I expected – darn that skin is tough! Thankfully, I had my faithful chef’s knife. Cut the courge in one-inch cubes. Marvel at their beautiful color. Chop the onions and the garlic.

In a large saucepan, heat up the olive oil, and saute the onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the courge and bay leaf, salt and pepper, and pour in a glass of water. Cook over medium-low heat for 40 minutes, covered, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

After that time, the pieces of courge should be very tender. Smash them with a wooden spoon or a fork. Add the ginger, curry and piment d’Espelette. I gave the measurements I used, but of course you can use less or more to suit your taste. Cook for 10 more minutes. I wanted chunky soup, but if you don’t, now’s the time to mix it in your favorite food processor or blender.

Add the crème fraîche, stir and serve. Alternatively, you could wait and add the dollop of crème fraîche on top of each bowl, for a nice visual effect.

Serve with poppyseed grissini crackers or triangles of toasted walnut bread.

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!

  • http://www.mum-mum.info Wena

    u’re back!!! *hugs* now can read again. :)))

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Wena – thanks for the warm welcome back! I missed you too! :)

  • JC Bou

    Avec laulau après tous ces concentrés d’envie on ne peut qu’aller dans un deux étoiles pour tenir la comparaison…
    Ton blog est tenu à jour et tout et tout, superbes photos, je suis assez bluffé!
    Bisous!

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    [Note to readers : Jean-Christophe is my dear friend Laurence's boyfriend...]

    Hello Jean-Christophe! Ravie de t’avoir ici, et ravie que ça te plaise! Bon, quand est-ce que vous revenez dîner à la maison, là, alors? :)

  • Loli

    ma clo,
    tu me feras ta spiced pumpkin soup pour les veggies?
    toujours aussi appétissant tout ça!
    je t’embrasse très très fort

  • Loli

    très très bientôt!!!
    je veux voir ton bronzage ma puce!

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    [Note to readers : Loli is my dear friend Laurence's nickname...]

    Ohlala, vous êtes là tous les deux, c’est marvellous!

    Bronzage? Quel bronzage? Je ne vois pas du tout de quoi tu veux parler… :) Par contre, je peux te montrer mon dos, il pèle! Et je peux te montrer les photos, même que je suis en maillot dessus! Des bisous!

  • Robin

    Delicious.

    Another way to handle the pepper is to cook a whole spicy red pepper in the soup and remove it before blending or serving. That’s a way to add a hint of the heat. I learned this from a producteur of Guadalupe veggies at a farmers market in Nice two years ago.

    He said that he leaves it whole in dishes to add just a hint of heat, cuts it in half for more adventurous people and in smaller pieces for those with iron palates.

    robin

  • Bruce

    I love a good punpkin soup! (the Moosewood cookbook has a wonderful punpkin rarebit soup…)

    I recently found a good way to peel pumpkins: wash them to remove loose dirt.

    cut the top and bottom off, to make a flat surface.

    Use a vegetable peeler (the
    European style with the blade between two posts works best) to peel off the skin.

    I find this much quicker than using a knife to peel.

    et merci Clotilde pour ton blog!

  • AC

    The easiest way to peel pumpkin is to microwave it first then just scoop out the cooked fruit. You should stab it with a knife and set it whole in a pan or cut it into pieces and place in a glass dish. Cover with a piece of plastic or a lid if the pan and pumpkin are small. Continue with the recipe cooking the pumpkin with the onions and garlic. It will not change the flavor of the recipe and is sooooooo easy!
    If you do not use a microwave the peeler method is about the only other easy choice. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Diana

    Please could ac state how long in the microwave and at what power? I’ve just spent an afternoon with two pumpkins a knife a wobbly table and a wonky chopping board! Wish I’d googled earlier. Oh also does the stab the pumpkin in a glass dish come before the microwave or after ?
    Look forward to the reply!

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