From Sunset Magazine
My friend Amber posted a recipe a couple of weeks back from Sunset magazine (it's a west coast thing) for this delicious-sounding soup, perfect for autumn. I FINALLY got around to trying it last night (veganized, of course) and was really pleased with how good it was! The fresh ginger makes it, in my opinion, but try it for yourselves and let me know what you think!
1 large or 2 smal onions, chopped
1-1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
4-1/2 cups peeled, 1" chunks pumpkin or other orange-fleshed squash. (from a 2-1/2 lb squash)*
4-1/2 cups no-chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 small garlic clove
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, plus slivered leaves
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil (You could totally use less and just add water if needed)
1/4 cup salted and roasted pumpkin seeds. (I used raw pepitas.)
Roasted mini pumpkin bowls:
However many mini pumpkins you need, I used two. About 6-8oz each.
S+P to taste
Preheat oven to 400º. Make sure pumpkins sit flat, if need be, slice a little off the bottoms.Set on a rimmed baking sheet, spray with a little oil and sprinkle with s+p. Bake until tender when pierced, about 40 minutes. BE ADVISED: 40 minutes was tooooooo long for the little guys I baked (or, had my bf bake while I was working), so check on them often. Cut lids off about 2" wide. Carefully scrape out seeds with a small spoon, keeping walls and bases intact. If you accidentally get a hole in the pumpkin, line it with a piece of foil.
My sad, little overcooked pumpkins
Soup: Sauté onion and ginger in oil in a medium pot over med-high heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic ad coriander and cook until softened, about a minute. Add pumpkin*, broth s+p. Cover and simmer until pumpkin* is very tender, about 8-10 minutes. Purée in batches in blender (or Vitamix!!!) until very smooth.
Pesto: Pound garlic, whole mint leaves, salt and 1 Tbsp oil in a mortar into a coarse paste. You can also use a food processor. Add remaining oil and pumpkin seeds and ground down until coarsely crushed. Drop small spoonfuls over bowls of soup, garnish with slivered mint and serve remaining pesto on the side with some crusty bread.
*Now for the asterisk explanation. A little bird told me that 99% of the time you order a pumpkin dish from a restaurant, they are actually using butternut squash! It's not stringy like pumpkin and has a very similar flavor and color. This is what I used and the soup came out fantastic, albeit not pretty!
My verdict: Unless you are entertaining, skip the pumpkin "bowls"...they are extremely fragile and kind of awkward.
Also, if you are watching your calories, the soup easily stands alone without the pesto, though, the pesto is freaking GOOD!
Nutritional info for the soup and pesto combo per 1-1/2 cup serving: Calories: 263, Fat: 21g (with all that oil used), Saturated fat: 3.4g, Carbs: 13g, Fiber, 2.6g WW Points: 9 with pesto, 4 without.
Stay tuned for another cooked pumpkin dish that I have mastered as an alternative for a stuffed dead bird this Thanksgiving. I promise, it's much prettier! :)