Pumpkin Soup with Orange and Ginger
6 cups pumpkin flesh cubes, (about 2 inch pieces)1 large sweet onion, cut into quarters then eighths
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
3/4 to 1 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon fresh minced or grated ginger
1 cup half and half
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a large baking sheet toss pumpkin, onions, olive oil, salt and pepper until veggies are coated in oil. Roast for about 40 minutes or until very soft. Tansfer veggies and drippings to a large sauce pan. Add chicken stock, orange juice and ginger. Puree with a hand held blender. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Add half and half and more salt if needed. Serve warm with an optional garnish of diced grapes, orange peel and balsamic glaze.
Hints: This soup is also excellent with a curry based flavor--replace the ginger with curry powder and the OJ with additional chicken broth. You can also replace some or all of the half and half with coconut milk in either the orange ginger or the curry recipes. You may want to garnish the curry soup differently as well. Try some fresh sage leaves or roasted pumpkin seeds. Some types of pumpkin have a higher water content than others. If at the end of the roasting, the veggies are real watery, just reduce the amount of liquids you add. This soup freezes pretty well and is nice to pull out on a snowy day as a first course.
This is one of my favorite Autumn recipes. I have fun growing pumpkins in the garden each year and they hold well in the garage for a few months. I have tried several herb/spice combos and like these two best. Try out some of your own ideas and let me know what your favorites are.