Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pumpkin soup

Everything I've cooked since the 1st of January was checked by Violet for calories. If suspiciously high in calories, dish is rejected. So she is our family weight-watcher and I know, that if something passes through her sieve, it is healthy without being dangerous for us both. When I suggested we try a roasted pumpkin soup, she made some investigation and said OK. I am not quite sure whether it is a proper part of a diet menu, but it is deffinitely worth to be tested. According to Internet, pumpkin is very healthy. It is packed with fiber and  contains lots of pro-vitamin A (five time more than in carrots), vitamin K and E and lots of minerals, including Magnesium and Iron. 
This is one of the most creamy and buttery soups I've ever tasted. It has velvety texture and sweet taste without any sugar added. It is nutritious and satisfies your sweet tooth, without making you guilty. The roasted flavour of the pumpkin gives the soup its unique taste. The strong flavours of onion, leek and garlic match well with the creamyness and the cayenne pepper burst your digestion.
Of course, if you are on a diet, it will be better to skip the croutons and heavy cream, but it will be tasty anyway.

For the soup:
  • 1.5 kg pumpkin
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 leek (white part only), sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 200 g heavy cream
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt

For the croutons:
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 3 slices of stale bread, diced
Preheat oven to 200°C (400° F). Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle with salt and olive oil and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Scoop the roasted pumpkin into a bowl.
Melt butter in a pot and put the onion, leek and garlic and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the pumpkin pulp and the broth, simmer for 20 minutes. Puree in a blender. To prepare the croutons, put the bread dices into hot butter and roast until golden brown. Add the cream and cayenne pepper to the soup and simmer for additional 10 minutes.
Ladle hot soup in bowls and sprinkle roasted pumpkin seeds and croutons above.  

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