Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Comfort food - Creamy pumpkin soup

Creamy pumpkin soup

Hello World! Where have you been?

Actually, I've been around. Been doing a fair bit of cooking too. But just haven't found the motivation to post them... which is bad, because as I write this I have another 3 post sitting in draft mode with pretty pics to accompany them but no text what-so-ever.

I get a bit excited when the weekend comes about because weekends means I can cook/bake to my hearts content and take nice photos of my blood, sweat and tears... Ok... So I'm exaggerating. Not every recipe I decide to tackle ends in blood, sweat and tears. Maybe just sweat...

Today is hump day. (yay!) Every hump day night, I spend at least 5minutes in front of the bookshelf at the end of my bed, picking out a couple of cookbook or food magazine for the weekend inspiration. Then, when I've decided on the recipe, I'd scribble down the ingredients and give myself 2 days to make sure that I have all the ingredients that I need to start the weekend with. Come Saturday, I would be happily baking/cooking away and on Sunday afternoons I set up shop in my room to photograph the goodies made on Saturday. I reckon that has to be my most favourite part of weekend (next to 'sleeping in' of course!), because after I'm done with the photos, I get to stuff my gob with the leftovers. Someone's got to eat them right??

That's the sort of routine I've been following in the last two months - cooking or baking on a Saturday and photographing them on a Sunday. My FMIL (aka future mother-in-law aka Alv's Mum) has picked up on the routine too. When she sees me sneaking off with a batch of biscuits or a cake on a nice platter she goes, "Taking photos again ah?"

I bet she thinks I'm going nutty, doing all this baking and then going through all the trouble picking out the best pieces and using the best crockery just to photograph them. Bleh... what does she know about food blogging...?

This pumpkin soup was the result of the weekend that's just passed. The inspiration came from a Gordon Ramsay (orangey) carrot soup that is featured in this month's ABC delicious Magazine. I say 'inspired' because I only like carrots.. in moderation.

What's another orangey soupy vegetable/fruit? Pumpkin of course!

Creamy pumpkin soup


850g pumpkin (I used kabocha/japanese pumpkin)
3 cloves garlic
1 medium sized onion
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1L stock (I used chicken)
100ml sour cream
1 small bunch parsley stalk
2 tbsp butter (or more)
2 slices of short cut bacon (optional)
some chopped parsley, to serve

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C. Deseed pumpkin, and place a generous piece of butter (about 1 tbsp) in the cavity of the pumpkin. Place pumpkin in a baking dish.
  2. Crush garlic and add to the baking dish. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the garlic and place baking dish into the oven.
  3. Roast for about 10 - 15mins until garlic is fragrant but not burnt. Remove the garlic from the oven and roast pumpkin for another 50mins until the flesh is soft and tender when poked with a fork or skewer.
  4. Remove pumpkin from oven and set aside to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, dice the onions and parsley stalks.
  6. Once the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scoop up all the pumpkin flesh and set aside.
  7. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of butter and fry the onions with a pinch of salt until fragrant.
  8. Add in the roasted garlic and parsley stalks and stir to mix.
  9. Once the onions, garlic and parsley mixture become fragrant, add in the pumpkin flesh and cumin, mix well.
  10. Add in the chicken stock, give it a bit of a stir to ensure that the pumpkin and stock are well mixed.
  11. Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for about 1 to 1hr 15mins. At the end of the simmering time, the soup should be of a thick consistency. (Might be a good idea to check on the soup during the simmering period)
  12. Remove from heat and let it cool for about 10 to 15mins.
  13. Meanwhile, slice bacon and pan fry it until well browned and slightly crispy. Remove and set aside.
  14. Once the soup has cooled down a little, blend the soup with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth. If the soup is a bit too thick, pour in some extra chicken stock or some water to thin it to your liking.
  15. Return soup to saucepan and stove for reheating under a low to medium heat.
  16. Just before the soup starts to boil, stir in the sour cream.
  17. Serve with sprinkles of chopped parsley, toasted bread and topped with some crispy bacon.
Note: For a more flavoursome soup, prepare the soup a day before hand without adding in the sour cream. Reheat and add in the sour cream just before serving.

My verdict:
Adding the bacon in was something I came up with at the last minute. I don't know how to explain it, it was one of those things that I felt that the soup would be incomplete without. No idea where I got this notion from but my gut feeling was I ABSOLUTELY have to have it otherwise I won't be happy with the end result.

Actually, I'm glad I insisted on it. The pumpkin soup was really sweet, rich and creamy. The extra bacon in it helped cut through the sweetness for me. Alv's mum and her friend went without the bacon. She commented that it was too creamy and rich for her but her friend Jenny loved it. (Shrug, more bacon for me.)

Oh and the cumin, mmmm made the whole house smell nice and yummy. Oh, and it gave the soup a bit of a spicy kick to it.

Describe the soup in 5 words or less: "It-was-really-good"

Creamy pumpkin soup


bea at la tartine gourmande said...

oh yes, the ever growing list of draft posts with no text ;-) I am glad to hear I am not alone! And I love the look of your soup!

K & S said...

pumpkin soup...yum! and with bacon, bonus! just post your pics, we can make up the text as we drool :)

SteamyKitchen said...

wow, it looks so creamy and yummmmm

Ellie said...

Mmm, I definitely loves me a bowl of thick, creamy pumpkin soup in the wintertime :D

ilingc said...

bea: Thank you. The draft grows every week. I think I should take a week of baking/cooking every three weeks just to catch up. :D

kat: LOL great idea, except I feel bad posting them with no text. One of these days, I reckon I will have compiled enough photos with to make a post entitled "coming soon"

jaden: It was very creamy. Went very well with the sundried tomato bread. :)

ellie: I'll give you a ring the next time I make some so you can come and help me with the rest of it since alv won't touch it. :)

Anonymous said...

You keep up the good work. We bloggers have writers' blocks too... As for taking photos... my in-laws wouldn't understand too. They just don't see the what the fuss all about. Sigh...

Mia said...

I'm with you on the writers-block. Don't worry about it. The soup looks so yummy!

Happy Little Bird said...

question-I thought it would be fun to make some pumpkin soup for my friends-but they are vegitarian....any suggestions for substituing the chicken stock?

ilingc said...

Taitauwai & Mia: Thank you! Writers block can be such a hindrance to blogging. =|

happy little bird: You can substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock. :)
Hope it turns out well for you.