Two weeks ago, when our friend Paige was visiting, I bought a sugar pumpkin. I thought I’d cook it up somehow. I didn’t have anything particular in mind, but I thought a fresh pumpkin something would be nice…
We all ate nonstop for two days, and I never cooked the pumpkin. It’s been sitting on the kitchen counter ever since. A nice fall decoration for sure, but this is an eating pumpkin, not a carving pumpkin or decoration.
Today, with our glorious 70 degree weather, I decided to make soup!
I sliced and seeded the pumpkin and set in in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, I cut up:
- 3 carrots
- 3 celery stalks
- 1 medium onion
- 1 sweet potato and
- 2 pears
and placed them all in a pot with a bit of olive oil. I cooked everything until it was all mushy and gooey and starting to stick to the bottom of the pan. I added some cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, a pinch of cardamom, and a pinch of sage, salt & pepper and then added 2 quarts of chicken stock. (I’m not a vegetarian. Substitute veg broth, if desired…)
I cooked the vegetables a bit more, and then added the pumpkin and let it all simmer about 30 minutes.
While the soup was simmering, I cooked a large handful of barley in another pot.
I used my immersion blender and pureed the whole pot of soup to a rich, creamy consistency. Then, I added about 2 cups of heavy cream and blended it some more. I did a taste-test and added a bit more of all the spices. I then stirred in the barley, and added a handful of dried cranberries!
It was really good!