The doctor-in-law invited us to participate in an iron-chef inspired recipe showdown at his place. The cyclist and I were a team. The D-I-L distributed a bag of fresh produce from his garden (think mostly hot peppers and juicy tomatoes). He then revealed the secret ingredient. Fresh pumpkin. I love to bake and I love pumpkin, however, I had never cooked with it. I always use the trusty canned stuff. My eyes have been opened. Have you ever roasted a fresh pumpkin? (Pie or Sugar Pumpkin, not the Jack-o-Lantern variety). Boy does it smell good!
This was the cyclist's entry in "the soup category".*
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
pinch cayenne pepper
6 cups of chopped roasted or pumpkin (To make pumpkin purée, cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a tin-foil lined baking pan. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use.)
or 3 (15 oz) cans 100 percent pumpkin
5 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup milk
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add spices and stir for a minute more.
Add pumpkin and 5 cups of broth; blend well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer soup, in batches, to a blender or food processor. Cover tightly and blend until smooth. Return soup to saucepan. Or use an immersion blender in the soup pot.
With the soup on low heat, slowly add milk while stirring to incorporate. Adjust seasonings to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
*Did I mention he won?
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