Monday, November 06, 2006

Pumpkin Super Soup

In keeping with my seasonal food-buying intentions which, I must say are going pretty well really seeing how easy it is to know the provenance of food in the supermarket (France - good, Spain - bad, Holland - evil), I feel I must share with you the most wonderful recipe for pumpkin soup.

It comes from a souper website - Soupsong, where I have found much that is tasty, some snippets of soup history and anecdotes. Did you know, for example, that Neanderthals are believed to have cooked it in the Neolithic era? Connect with your past: eat historic soup! (I wonder what Creationists would make of that?)

The particularity of this Israeli Pumpkin soup is the use of parsnips. I use my own chicken stock, and do not add any chilli powder although I do throw in a little cayenne. I'm not interested in having the flavour blown out of my nostrils by hot spices. The parsnips seem to act as a catalyst of taste, enhancing the soup way beyond their ordinary capacity.

I always fry the veggies first in butter with olive oil to concentrate the flavours and then add the stock and tinned tomatoes and let it all simmer until done. Blend it and you'll be amazed at the depth and subtlety of the mingling ingredients into a purely delicious whole.

A great Winter warmer, as they say.

Other souper soups are : leek and potato (secret ingredient here - slice of bacon), courgette (fried then simmered in milk and stock), tomato made with garden toms, and red pepper (a pure bugger to make as the peppers have to be grilled and the skins removed - grrrr).

I also love gazpacho in the summer with lots of chunky bits and served with garlic bread (homemade, natch!). Try it with a light, refreshing Picpoul de Pinet and I swear you'll be in Heaven.

Have I made your stomachs rumble?

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