Friday, September 01, 2006

when the weather gets freaky, take comfort in pumpkin soup!



The past few days have been overcast and rainy. Consequently, its been quite cool, and the body uses this opportunity to crave warm comforting food. I had a wedge of beautiful orange pumpkin i bought during last week's grocery run, and it had been sitting in the fridge since, waiting to be turned into sweet goodness. I had contemplated just stir-frying it with some dried shrimp and garlic, but the weather gave me a chance to make pumpkin soup.

It looks really unassuming in the plastic tub, more like a sweet mango sorbet than the warm liquid gold it really is. Pumpkin is one of those things that i never really saw on the dining table at home as a kid. When i first cooked it, what surprised me the most was the very short cooking period, compared to the time needed to soften other similarly hard vegetables. Separating the flesh from the hard rind is very dangerous too.. first time i cut pumpkin, i cut my finger. I remember that because i've hardly ever cut myself in the kitchen. These days, i cut them into big cubes first before i remove the rind from just one side in a singular swift move. much safer.

To make this soup, i used whatever i had, some onions, carrot, the pumpkin, and potato, in a plain chicken stock. olive oil and garlic too. when everything falls apart when u poke at it with a fork, blend it with a trusty immersion blender. I added skim milk, but you can use cream. salt and pepper to taste. I had ready boiled chunks of lotus root and some beans, and added that to the bottom of the soup bowl before topping up with piping hot pumpkin soup. eat with plain toast, or cheese toast.

A nice warm dinner ready in less than an hour, after a long day of classes, and walking back carefully in the rain, straining not to slip on wet tiles, images of a dislocated left shoulder looming in an overactive imagination.

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