12/30/09

Pumpkin Bisque Recipe

Pumpkin Bisque

Pumpkin bisque is one of our most popular recipes at Sacred Chow. Many people have asked for the recipe, so I've converted it to an amount that can be made at home. Granted, you'd want to have a lot of friends over to help you eat it, but that's the point of making soup in the first place. Think about it: how much effort does it really take to make a medium sized pot of soup versus a large one? And one more thing: this soup freezes beautifully. There's absolutely no reason to make a tiny amount, and eat it up, and then crave more. Make an enormous batch, then freeze it and come back to it later on in the year when we don't have such fantastic pumpkins!

A note: please use only Kabocha squash. If you use butternut or any other type, the thickness won't be there. It'll feel too watery, and feel like pumpkin water, and not a bisque, which is meant to be creamy and rich. If you are planning on substituting another pumpkin, make sure to replace some of the weight of the pumpkin with sweet potato and cassava.

Do not substitute imitation maple syrup, or use any other type of sweetener. Insist on pure maple syrup. There aren't many heavy spices in this soup, which means that each ingredient must stand up on its own. If you're not using the finest ingredients, the end result won't be quite the same.

Even though it may seem a twitch pricey, think of the cost in the long term. The entire pot of soup doesn't cost more than a few dollars, and you've got more than enough to feed an army!

At home, I like to remove some of the water, and replace it with a dry white wine, like a Reisling. For those who like it a little on the sweeter side, feel free to switch out some of the water with apple juice or throw in some brown sugar or sucanat. Bon appetit!

7.5 lb peeled, seeded, diced Kabocha Pumpkin
1.5 lb diced onion
1/4 cup Canola oil
1/2 TB ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2.5 TB salt
3/4 cups US Grade A Dark Amber pure maple syrup
1 3/4 gallons water
2 cups (1 can) coconut milk

Dice up the onions, and sautee in the oil. Make sure to weigh the onion after you dice it and remove the skin and the rest. While the onions brown, start to peel and dice your pumpkin. You want to weigh the pumpkin after you’ve removed the seeds and the skin, and not before. In other words, you need 7.5 lbs of pumkin that you’re cooking. The stuff you discard shouldn’t be weighed.

When the onions are softened and browned, add the uncooked pumpkin, the cinnamon, the ginger powder, the nutmeg powder, the clove powder, the salt, maple syrup, and water. Let the water come up to a full rolling boil. Drop down the heat to a simmer, and let it simmer for 2 – 3 hours, until the pumpkin is completely tender. When the pumpkin is tender all the way through, turn off the heat, and blend with a stick blender until smooth. Strain through a strainer to remove any left over pulp.

Stir through the coconut milk to combine thoroughly.
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