Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gingered Pumpkin Soup

Here it is only October and I've been sick with a cold for three weeks; granted the Type 1 Diabetes can keep my immune system down, but enough is enough, right? The congestion moved into my ear about a week ago and some days I've been hours on the floor incapacitated with vertigo; sounds like the Alfred Hitchcock kind, but not....and nausea to boot. It's been hell to say the least. I've tried several soups for the upset stomach and cold symptoms, but all have left me feeling worse, so finally today, feeling a bit better, I decided to give this recipe from Sunset magazine a try. I skipped the pesto part of the recipe due to lack of ingredients in the house. Instead I toasted raw pumpkin seeds and sprinkled raw organic sugar on them right from the oven, tossed it around and topped it on my soup. The ginger was a bit spicy and the sugar coated pumpkin seeds balanced the heat perfectly.
You know ginger, I've said it before, is respected for its healthful benefits. Native to Asia, ginger has been highly valued around the world as a cooking spice, dating back 4,400 years, my use of it...not quite so long. Culinary uses aside, ginger’s medicinal properties are prescribed to aid digestion, alleviate nausea, diarrhea, as an anti-inflammatory for arthritis, heart conditions, cold and flu symptoms, headaches, and even painful menstrual periods. I think this recipe is a good one to keep close this winter when you feel that cold and flu invading your home. The heat moves the fluid in the head and soothes that nausea quickly. Thank you Sunset. I've included the pesto portion of their recipe in case you'd like to try that. I think toasted pecans and sage sauteed in butter will be my next topping. Stay well!

Oh, I did add a few changes to the Sunset magazine recipe, they are in parenthesis...just so you know, you can adjust any ingredient to your taste. I used an immersion blender, because I've never been too skilled at the blender thing with hot soup---burns me every time.


1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
(1/4 t cinnamon)
4 1/2 cups peeled, 1-in. chunks pumpkin or other orange-fleshed squash (from a 2 1/2-lb. squash)
4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt----(less would be better)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 small garlic clove
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, plus slivered leaves
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds

1. Make soup: Sauté onion and ginger in oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat until golden, 5 minutes. Add garlic and coriander and cook until softened, 1 minute, then add pumpkin, broth, salt, and pepper. Simmer, covered, until pumpkin is very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Purée in batches in a blender until very smooth. (I used an immersion blender here; it is much safer.)

2. Make pesto: Pound garlic, whole mint leaves, salt, and 1 tbsp. oil in a mortar into a coarse paste (or use a food processor). Add remaining oil and pumpkin seeds and pound until coarsely crushed.

3. Drop small spoonfuls of pesto over bowls of soup, garnish with slivered mint, and serve remaining pesto on the side.

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