This time of the year I think of apples and pumpkins... and more apples and pumpkins! After a weekend in Adams county, I came home with some apples, apple cider and hard apple cider. I'd find myself eating an apple and washing it down with cider. This weekend, I bought a pumpkin scented reed disfuser for Adam's living room, pumpkin spiced coffee creamer and ingredients for pumpkin soup. I just love the harvest season! To me, it's a very comforting, cozy time of year.
I whipped up this soup in no time on Saturday afternoon. Adam wasn't a big fan but myself and a friend of ours had 2 bowls in one evening. Adam's mom and I came to the conclusion that this soup cannot really be consumed in large quantities - a laddle-full for a starter course would be perfect. The actual soup recipe is very basic. The relish, which is sweet, spicy and savory, is wonderful!!! So many flavors melded together makes it very tasty! If you don't want to make the entire relish, I think just adding some sweet Craisins really play nicely with the savory pumpkin.
This is a Rachel Ray recipe from foodnetwork.com
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
2 tablespoons butter
1 fresh bay leaf
2 ribs celery with greens, finely chopped1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning or 2 teaspoons ground thyme (I used thyme)
2 teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste (I used 1 teaspoon)
6 cups chicken stock
1 (28-ounce) can cooked pumpkin puree
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I used dried ground nutmeg)
For a relish topping, which makes the soup more complex and flavorful:
1 crisp apple, such as McIntosh or Granny Smith, finely chopped (I used a McIntosh)
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons honey (I used orange flavored honey from Aucker's Apiary in Millville, PA. Natalie bought me this honey at the Bloomsburg Fair. I love flavored honey in hot tea!)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat a medium soup pot over medium to medium high heat. Add the oil and melt the butter. Add bay, celery, and onion. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Cook 6 or 7 minutes, until tender. Add flour, poultry seasoning and hot sauce, to taste, then cook flour a minute. Whisk in chicken stock and bring liquid to a bubble. Whisk in pumpkin in large spoonfuls to incorporate it into the broth. Simmer soup 10 minutes to thicken a bit then add in cream and nutmeg. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.
While soup cooks, assemble the relish: combine apple, onion, lemon juice, cranberries, chili powder, honey and cinnamon.
Adjust seasonings in soup and relish and serve soup in shallow bowls with a few spoonfuls of relish.
The finished product
For Adam's sake, I think I'll lay off the pumpkin for awhile!