[69] Arizona Pumpkin Soup

the cover of The Enchanted Broccoli Forest

This pumpkin soup recipe is on the facing page to “The Pumpkin Tureen”:http://www.metacookbook.com/archives/115-60-The-Pumpkin-Tureen.html, which means that when I was flipping around looking for pumpkin recipes, I had to debate.

The Pumpkin Tureen had a lot more style & pizazz, so I didn’t debate terribly long. I did promise myself I’d make this one “at some point”, but I really needed to check out the soup baked & served in a pumpkin. However, when the rubber hit the road and the taste of that soup didn’t live up to the presentation, I found myself thinking about pumpkin soups again.

Now. I’m not going to lie to you. The idea of soup in a pumpkin tureen has not been utterly rejected by me. I think the idea is a good one, but it needs some work. That’s why you should expect to see “this recipe”:http://www.wgntv.com/news/middaynews/lunchbreak/wgntv-lunchbreak-dorie-greenspan-stuffed-pumpkin,0,5955911.story on my table eventually, cookbook challenge or no.

However, I had not seen that recipe (it was passed on by a friend) by the time I’d come back to this recipe. It’s got a lot of good things in it, for sure, and it was a great idea (I thought) for my vegetarian friends who were visiting last week.

I have to say that I’ve been very lucky to have friends who generally understand that I’m experimenting in the kitchen, and who are happy to come try my experiments (and who would be happy to order pizza if something comes out just terribly). I’m especially lucky with this pair, as Bill and I barely know them.

We’re hitting it off really well, though. They’re coming back for more food in about a week.

h2. Ingredients

3 c cooked & pureed pumpkin, or 1 29 oz can
4 c water

1 tbsp olive oil

2 c minced onion

1 large bell pepper, minced (We used a red one, because we like ’em best and we thought the color would be nice with the orange.)

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp salt

1 tbsp chili powder (You know what I used here, right?)

2 – 3 tbsp fresh lime juice

Freshly ground black pepper

Lightly toasted pumpkin seeds (We used these and Bill hopefully will type up a post about ’em.)

Finely minced scallions (We didn’t use these.)

h2. Instructions

Mix the water and pumpkin together in a large soup pot or dutch oven, blending well. Partially cover and place over low to medium-low heat, stirring often.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet, then add the onion and bell pepper. Saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic, salt and chili powder. Stir it all together, then cover and cook over low heat for about 10 more minutes, stirring often, until everything’s nice and soft.

Once the onion mix is cooked, add it and the lime juice to the pumpkin/water mix. Stir it all very well, then cover and simmer for roughly 10 minutes. Season to taste with black pepper, adding salt as needed. Serve hot, with toppings if you desire.

h2. Cooking and Consumption Notes

h3. Cooking

I would like to know whether my readers read “minced” or “diced” as smaller chunks, in general. Furthermore, roughly how big do you make each of those chunks, and how closely do you adhere to “mincing” or “dicing”.

My answers:

# Minced is smaller than diced
# Geometry was never my strongest suit but I’d say “diced” is on the order of 1/2″ cubed and “minced” is decidedly smaller than that.

# Not closely at all. I’d say I basically dice everything.

I believe Bill’s answers to 1 & 2 are about the same as mine, but he actually follows the directions better than I do. I know this because he made the onions and the bell peppers so tiny. As he said, “So much for the color of the bell peppers showing up in the soup.”

That’s okay. The pumpkin seeds looked nice on top.

h3. Consumption

Man, we liked this. It wasn’t, for me, knock it out of the park good, but it was solid.

I used the full 3 tbsp of lime juice. My first two bites, I have to admit, I was considering adding a pinch of sugar or something to cut the acidity. However, even just the five minutes of sitting in a “done” state while we finished getting the table set allowed the acid to mellow out nicely, and everything to blend decently. So, I suggest starting with the largest amount of lime you think you can handle, and being prepared to need to let it sit for a short time.

Definitely don’t skip out on topping it with the pumpkin seeds. They added an awesome crunch, which played well with the rest of the “soupiness”.

We served this with crusty bread and “Greek-Style Cooked Greens”:http://www.metacookbook.com/archives/103-54-Greek-Style-Cooked-Greens.html. That was a surprisingly good combination. Though, to be fair, the lemon juice in the greens was Myer lemon juice, which is a touch less acidic (so Bill tells me). However, the olive oil taste and lemon taste were super with the greens, and the whole meal came together much more nicely than you’d expect “greek-style” and “pumpkin soup” to achieve.

I know our guests liked it, because they 1) said so a lot and 2) were thrilled to be sent home with the leftovers. But maybe one or both of them will comment and say exactly what they liked about it. Maybe.

2 thoughts on “[69] Arizona Pumpkin Soup

  1. Oh, man, was this soup good. Charlie and I divvied up. I took the soup for lunch and he kept the seeds for a snack. I felt invigorated for the work afternoon,and his seeds were all gobbled up the next day.

    I thought I did see some pepper pieces. Re: minced vs. diced, I can concur with all three of your responses.

    I’m off to click the Greek-style greens link…

    • Thanks for commenting, Kristi! I love it when folks I’ve shared the food with comment so the world can get their opinions directly.

      I’m glad the soup and seeds benefited you both so well! A good lunch is definitely important to the workday.

      Finally, thanks for weighing in on the “diced” vs “minced” question. Soon, we will settle it all!

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