Friday, January 4, 2008

Spicy Pumpkin Corn Soup

This soup came about from a couple of different recipes. Key was a version that gave me ideas how to make it so it didn't taste like pumpkin bread or spice cake. It's filling and a great winter warmer for the belly on a cold wet night like tonight.

I used home made pumpkin puree...was energetic and baked off, canned my jack-o-lanterns this fall. You can use any good pumpkin puree. Do not use pumpkin pie mix and read the can of what you do grab...some are mostly butternut squash that is tasty on it's own but doesn't have quite the same flavor as real pumpkin. The recipe:

Spicy Pumpkin Corn Soup
  • 2 15 oz cans pumpkin puree (or 2 lbs homemade pumpkin puree)
  • 1 lb bag frozen sweet corn
  • 1 14 1/2 can chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T garlic - chopped
  • 1 T fresh ginger - grated
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 2 - 4 inch stalks lemon grass
  • 1/8 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 - 2 green onions sliced, including the green tops
  • 2 T fresh chopped cilantro.

Remove outer leaves of lemon grass and rinse of any dirty bits. Mash and flatten the lemon grass with a mallet or heavy pan. Tie into the mashed grass into a bundle with the kitchen string.

Heat oil in large sauce pot until it begins to shimmer. Add garlic and ginger. Stir one minute or until it just begins to turn light brown. Add chicken stock and corn. Stir in salt, pepper, lemon grass bundles and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes until corn is cooked through.

Add pumpkin, increase heat to medium and slowly bring the soup to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove lemon grass bundle. Pour soup into batches into a blender and puree until smooth. (I use a hand blender for a bit more coarse texture to the final soup). Add additional water (sometimes as much as 1/2 c) to bring it to the right consistency.

Serve with sliced onion and cilantro on top as a garnish.

I usually use the "white" sweet corn variety as it has a lighter more grass like taste that is definitely much sweeter than the traditional "variety". Worth tracking it down if your grocer doesn't keep it in stock.

I'll have garlic bread on the side with a fresh green salad dressed in a light Sesame dressing to make it a full meal.

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