Monday, November 21, 2011

A Warm Winter Soup

Others may think it's always bright and sunny in San Diego, but we do get our fair share of cold days. Like the bone-chilling 60 degrees weather we had today ;). Jokes apart, it's getting cold here now and with Thanksgiving just around the corner, winter is in the air (literally). Well, I'm totally loving the crisp morning air, signs of the holiday season and how the heavenly aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, and toasty pecans engulf me when I step into the grocery store. Squash of every color, shape, and size have replaced summer produce on the racks just in the two weeks I was gone to India. Pumpkin, of course, is the king of squash around this time. I got a gorgeous bright orange slice of pumpkin last week to initiate my winter cooking!

There's nothing more comforting in this season than a pot of soup simmering away in the kitchen. The waft of aromatic spices going around the house makes you feel all warm and cozy inside. I came across this pumpkin soup recipe by Rachael Ray and loved the idea of garnishing the soup with crispy apple and cranberry relish. Knowing that I'll be consuming (a lot) more than needed calories in the ensuing weeks, I wanted to make my soup low on calories. I replaced the heavy cream with a little bit of milk and added a small potato to get that smooth, rich texture. Also, I reduced the amount of liquid quite a bit to make it thick and full of pumpkin flavor. It was a perfect winter soup with all the wonderful holiday elements in it!

The recipe looks long, but it's literally as simple as tossing ingredients together and letting them simmer until you have a hearty flavorful soup. 

Colorful pumpkin soup with apple-cranberry relish - full of all the wonderful holiday flavors!
Pumpkin Soup with Apple-Cranberry Relish

1 Tbsp butter
1 Small onion - chopped
1-2 Garlic cloves - chopped
1 Bay leaf
1 Inch cinnamon stick
1 Small russet potato - peeled and cut into small pieces
Salt & Pepper
1 Tspn cumin-coriander powder
2-3 Tspns paprika - adjust per your liking
2 Teaspoons all purpose flour
1 Wedge of pumpkin / 28 oz can of pumpkin puree
2 Cups water
1 Cup Vegetable stock (optional)
A pinch of nutmeg
1/4 Cup whole milk

Red apple - finely chopped
Handful of dried sweetened cranberries - finely chopped (no particular measure here, add as many or as little as you want)
1 Tspn chili powder
2 Tspns honey
Chopped almond (optional)

  • If you have fresh pumpkin, cut it into 2 inch pieces and pressure cook them in a little bit of water. The peel comes right off after cooking. Mash it slightly. 
  • Heat a soup pot on medium, add butter and let it melt. 
  • Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, garlic, potato and onion and season with salt & pepper. Saute for a few minutes until the potato and onion are tender (~5 mins). 
  • Add cumin-coriander powder, paprika, pumpkin mash/puree, 1 cup water & 1 cup vegetable stock. I didn't use all vegetable stock because I didn't want the pumpkin flavor to be overpowered by the stock. However, some stock provides a little bit of body to and extra flavor. Add another cup of water if needed.
  • Sprinkle a pinch of nutmeg. Add milk and let the soup simmer for 10 mins or so. 
  • Take out the bay leaf and cinnamon and puree the soup in the food processor or by using a hand mixie. 

  • Mix chopped apple, chopped dried cranberries, honey and a little bit of paprika. Top the soup with this relish.  For some more nutty flavor to the soup, I sprinkled some chopped almond. 


stringOfPearls said...

That is lovely looking soup. I love the all the fall flavours in it. I am thinking maybe a butternut squash soup with a similar relish. Do you think that would work too?

Snehal said...

Thank you! I think this relish will go really well with any squash soup. Just make the soup a bit savory (hence I added cumin-coriander powder to my version) to balance the sweetness of the relish.

Here's a butternut squash soup recipe I had made earlier this year:

aipi said...

This looks wonderful, so hearty n comforting! I would like to curl up with a bowl full on a cool night :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...