Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Test Kitchen?

When you read what I am about to tell you about cooking the other night you are going to figure I am either a publicist or a test kitchen for Mel over at bitchincamero.

Pinky swear, it simply ain't so.

It is just that she lives in a place where the weather matches here pretty well (she is in Florida and I am in Central Texas), and so far her recipes have all turned out to be pretty happy matches with one or both sets of taste buds in this house.

She had a recipe featured for a carrot pumpkin soup, and I had a kabocha squash (also known as a Japanese pumpkin) just sitting around looking gorgeous in my kitchen. So I figured - "why not?".The original recipe calls for 2 cups of pumpkin pureé. I keep reading that making your own pureéd pumpkin is so much better than using canned and I figured it was time to try that theory out.I cut my kabocha in half (wasn't that a Knack song in the 90's, "My Kabocha"?), put it on a foil lined pan, and roasted it in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. I had a spate of phone calls right around then so I can't be sure on the timing. I got lucky and it was done and hadn't burned, but I am pretty sure it wasn't in the oven for longer than 40 minutes.

I let it cool, scooped out the pulp, and discovered I only had 1 1/2 cups rather than two. At that point I decided to simply scale back the recipe amounts to make allowances, and off I went to carrot pumpkin soup land.

The only other change I made was to throw some chopped chives and croutons I had on hand on top as a garnish rather than hazelnuts (my hub doesn't care for the hazelnuts) and while the croutons weren't great as a garnish, the soup was so good we didn't really care.I also used my blender instead of my immersion thingie (it was at the cleaner's). Worked like a charm.

I ended up with two nice big bowls of soup for our dinner last night.

My hub demonstrated remarkable restraint considering I said words to the effect of "isn't this just the loveliest color!" about 28 times during the course of blending and then eating the soup.

But look at it. It is a truly lovely color. And ever so good for us and delicious to boot.

So thanks again, Mel. That is twice in one week that you've led the way to a delicious dinner at our house.

That's what all this blogging is about anyway. Helping folks figure out what to fix to eat at their house that they might not have tried without somebody sharing a recipe or a technique or giving it the spoons up recommendation so folks are feeling like it would be perfectly reasonable to try a dish out.

If you like pumpkin and you like soup then this is for you, sure enough. Don't think you have to roast and pureé the pumpkin, I am guessing this tastes fabulous with the canned stuff and using it would make for a really quick and easy prep to boot.

Mel plans on serving this as an appetizer course for her Thanksgiving feast. It will be a gorgeous addition to the table no doubt.But don't wait for a holiday to give this a test run at your house. Pumpkin soup gets two spoons, er, thumbs up. Easy on the cook, easy on the eyes, and easy on the palate.


Charlie Hills said...

Hey, that reminds me. I'm hungry.

bitchincamero said...

Love the photo of the orange soup on the blue plate! Lovely ;)

Can you send some of that homemade pumpkin puree over here? I bet that would be much tastier than the can!