It’s that time of year again. Every year when the air gets crisp and the spiderwebs get all dewy I start to get a craving. I head to the market for a spice pumpkin and a few giant ruby apples and anything else that will fit snugly into my creamy, savory, sweet fall soup!
Here’s what went in this year:
2 Parsnips (make sure you get the super skinny ones or they will taste bitter)
1 large sugar pie Pumpkin
1 head of Garlic
2 boxes of Chicken stock
Pumpkin pie spice
Roughly cut up the veg, sliced up the apples and discard the seeds, slice the top off of the garlic head, cut the pumpkin into eight or so pieces and throw out the seeds, then put it all in a couple baking dishes with a handful of cranberries and coat them with olive oil, herbs and salt and pepper. (You don’t have to be very exact about it, everything will be blended later)
Roast them for 45 minutes in a 400 oven. (Or until they’re soft and the pumpkin skin is able to peel off.) let them cool.
Put 4 slices of bacon in a big pot with a nob of butter and cook until crispy.
After the roasted items have cooled a bit, peel off the pumpkin skin and throw it away, and squeeze out the garlic cloves from the head. Discard any woody stems from the herbs.
Deglaze the pot with a little chicken stock or cider and pour in all the veg. Pour enough stock in to cover it then take it off the stove and blend it with an immersion blender until every last chunk is gone.
Put the soup back on the stove, add the rest of the stock and let it simmer.
This is where I never really measure. I just get out a tasting spoon and tweak until it’s just right. Add about a cup of the brown sugar, a cup of the cider or apple juice, a bit of the brandy, a couple table spoons of cinnamon, about 2 teaspoons of cloves, and about a tablespoon of the pumpkin pie spice. Then I finely chop more of the herbs and throw them in. I add more salt and pepper. When it tastes about right turn the heat down and add about a cup of cream.
You guys…it’s like pumpkin pie and the soup goddess had a baby. If it tastes all wrong…just add a little here and there until it tastes right. That’s how I ended up with the apple brandy this year…it just needed something twingy and sweet. Maybe you’ll add balsamic vinegar or a pear or sea salt or honey or meade. Ooooh that all sounds good!
Last year I pan fried chanterelles and caramelized pecans and put them on top. This year I put more craisins on top. A little touch on top is nice otherwise it looks a bit like vomit. :) Maybe caramelized ginger and some herbs?
I hope you love it as much as I do!