Sunday, May 20, 2012

Recipe #: Tomato Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin and Tomato plant that will provide for this soup later!

Time: 1 - 2 hours total (including time to cook pumpkin)
(45-60 min. pumpkin cooking time)

pureed tomatoes from about 6-8 med. vine ripened tomatoes
Flesh of 1 med. pumpkin, baked in the oven and flesh scooped out
3-4 green chile peppers (I used anaheim)
Chopped fresh sage to taste - I used golden and regular sage, 5-6 sprigs
5 dried, crushed chiltepines (hot, dry chile with almost no sweetness; heat fades quickly)
sea salt to taste
fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste (I used 1 tsp. or less)

1. Stick everything but the lemon in a large pot.
2. Heat to a simmer and cook until fragrant.
3. Blend it all in a blender until a texture you enjoy - I like it fairly smooth - and heat again until you like the consistency. You can cook it down with the lid off if you prefer a thicker soup.
4. Add a little lemon juice to taste at the end, if it needs a little tang. This time around, my tomatoes weren't very sweet so it didn't really need it. But in the past, with sweeter pumpkin and tomatoes, I used more lemon. If you plan to freeze and reheat the soup later, don't add the lemon. It tastes better when it is added after it will not be heated up any longer.
5. This soup freezes well, and I thought it tasted even better when I had it the second time around.

Feeds: 4, probably

Inspired by: Seeing various recipes that used tomatoes and pumpkin together. Everything else was simply on hand. :-)

What worked: This is nice and spicy and had a nice hint of sweet and some sour tang, too. Quite a pretty orange, too. Nice texture.

What didn't work: Depth was missing in the flavor, and color could have been even prettier, as the orange faded some when the green chile was added.

What could be done to improve it: A garnish might be rather pretty. Something that adds richness would help, to something heavy, deep, even a little bitter, maybe. Beef, mushrooms, or onions and garlic might be nice. Maybe fresh, grated turmeric. Maybe roast the chile first. The color was prettier before I added the green chiles, so maybe using red chiles might be better for the color next time. Or that turmeric again. Also, the pumpkin wasn't very sweet. I think a kabocha squash or sweeter pumpkin might be nicer with this.

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