When I was in Ireland recently (tired of hearing that yet?), on a cold and drizzly day my husband and I wandered into the tiny café on a corner (one of only two corners in the village) in Leap, County Cork. It's run by two English sisters, who happened to come to the village to work and ended up starting their own business.
Now, I'm not going to tell you that you can't buy a can or two of prepared pumpkin and use that. To be honest, if you're putting it in a pie (with spices) you really can't tell the difference. But I'd like to think that baking it brings out the natural sweetness and flavor of the pumpkin, in addition to softening it up. It's up to you.
Curried Pumpkin Soup
(for 4 servings):
2 Tblsp butter1 cup chopped yellow onions
1 Tblsp curry powder*
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
3 cups chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth if you prefer)
1½ cups heavy cream
4 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin (I needed only one of the pumpkins)
If you are cooking your own pumpkin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Slice the pumpkin in half and lay the halves, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Roast for 45-60 minutes, or until the flesh is soft. Remove from the oven and let cool until you can handle it. Then scrape the flesh from inside the rind. You should have about 4 cups (but don't worry if it's not exact).
Melt the butter in a large pan and cook the onions slowly without browning. Stir in the spices and cook for a minute.
Add the broth and the pumpkin, bring to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Puree in a food processor or blender or food mill (whatever you happen to have).
It goes very well with Irish soda bread (the brown kind) which has its own sweetness, and together they make a lovely lunch for a dreary day.
|My long-time favorite|
HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY!