Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hooray for soup!

What's wonderful about the holidays, from Thanksgiving clear through New Year's Day, is that there are so many occasions to celebrate with friends and with family. And that means lots of meals and delicious flavors.

Now while what was right for one celebration might not be right for another, there's one dish that works every time.


I love soup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I love the aromas. I use plenty of spices, garlic, and onion.

I made this soup over Thanksgiving, but it's still right for a cold winter's night and to serve before the Christmas meal. Adding cheese, of course, made it a whole new soup for me. It's fabulously rich, yummy, scrumptious.

I used Gruyere, which melts like a dream!!



(serves 2 to 4)

2 cups fresh pumpkin

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup half and half cream

¼ cup shallts, diced

1 tablespoon parsley flakes

1 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon fresh orange zest

1 teaspoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon white pepper

dash of ginger

dash of nutmeg

¼ cup Gruyere cheese, shredded plus 2-4 tablespoons

1 clove garlic, mashed

LITTLE JACK PUMPKINS for serving bowls.


Carve a 3-4 pound pumpkin in half and then in quarters. Remove the rind. [Harder than it sounds but worth it.] Use a firm surface and a good knife. Dice the pulp of the pumpkin into cubes. Measure 2 cups.

Rub a saucepan with the garlic. In saucepan, heat the butter. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat until browned. Add the chicken stock, diced pumpkin, and herbs: parsley, nutmeg, ginger, salt, white pepper. Lower heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes, covered.

When the pumpkin is tender, put the pulpy portions into a Cuisinart-style blender and puree. [Not as hard as it sounds.]

Return the pulp to the saucepan. Add the juice, zest, and cream. Add the Gruyere cheese to the mixture, reserving the additional 2-4 tablespoons for garnish.

Cook until the cheese is melted. Pour into soup bowls or into prepared Jack Be Little pumpkins.

Preparing Jack Be Little pumpkins:

Remove the tops (about an inch around). Scrape off seeds and set aside for decoration. Scoop out the seeds from the pumpkins. Use as soup bowls.

Using regular soup bowls is acceptable, of course.

If you want a little tidbit on the side, click this link for CHEESE STIX, a recipe shared a while back.

By the way, check out our surprise guest on Sunday and leave a comment. I'm giving away a free copy of The Long Quiche Goodbye to one of the commenters.

* * *

If you'd like to know more about A Cheese Shop Mystery series and want to download a few other recipes from me (on recipe cards), click on this link to my website: Avery Aames. I've posted recipes in the "morsels" section. There's lots of other fun stuff, as well. And sign up for the mailing list to get in on the next contest...coming soon.


  1. Avery,
    This looks fantastic!!!! We are huge pumpkin fans here and this will definitely be put in rotation soon :-) Thanks so very much!

  2. Pumpkin soup with Gruyere! What a brilliant idea! I love the Jack be Little bowls, neat. :) Thanks, Avery.

  3. Nanc, so glad you like it. It's very tasty. I had it for dinner and then, since there are only two of us, had the other portion for breafkast (reheated) and it was just as yummy!

    Elizabeth, enjoy!


  4. Sounds great, Avery. I have just a couple of comments about the recipe, though:

    In the first paragraph, should "service" be "surface" or is a "firm service" a kitchen appliance I am not familiar with? I also wondered if you forgot to specify to add the pumpkin in the second paragraph. And where is the garlic you mentioned?

    I look forward to making this to warm up this season. Thanks for sharing it.


  5. How fun, Avery! Love this idea. And I love soup just as much as you do (tune in tomorrow to hear more about that!). Great idea. Great pictures!

  6. Oooh, Edith! Thank you for being my morning editor. I'm in the middle of editing Lost and Fondue (book 2 of the series) and I have only a week to do it all, and so my mind is over-tasked! I lost sight of editing the blog. Argh! Thanks. All tweaks made. If you find other mistakes, please let me know. [Ooooh, maybe that's a contest next time? Heh-heh]

    More soup tomorrow, Julie? Yeah!


  7. Well, I write procedures and edit for a living, so stuff jumps out at me! (And I think we still don't add the pumpkin anywhere...)

    Can't wait to read your next book,


  8. Brr. I just came inside from shoveling snow. We're up to about six inches now -- it's about to exceed my shoveling capacity. Can I tell you how good steaming hot soup sounds right about now? Yum! Except I don't have a pumpkin sitting around, so I'll have to settle for chicken soup today.

    ~ Krista

  9. Edith, I promise I'll edit the book better than this post!!! LOL. The pumpkin is now officially added to the mix.

    Readers (prior to Edith's good editing), I apologize.

    Krista, I am missing snow and not missing snow all at the same time. How can that be? Stay warm!


  10. I've been searching for the perfect satay recipe for a while now... shall have to give yours a try!

  11. Dinetonite - I love satay. Your mention made me remember how much. Bamboo sticks and marinated meat, then roasted over a hot barbecue and served with a sweet and sour sauce. Yum. I'm going to have to plan for this weekend!


  12. This is too funny. I just sat down to eat my lunch (a bowl of warm, comforting soup) and read your post on how wonderful a bowl of soup can be at this time of year! Spot on! This recipe is truly a winner, too. Hang in there on your publishing schedule, Avery, I know how difficult it can be when crunch time comes.

    Have a great day,
    ~ Cleo
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  13. Thanks, Cleo. It is amazing trying to do edits while singing Christmas carols! LOL