Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Oyster Mushrooms [Zack]

To honor Lauren’s birthday today, here is her favorite soup that I have made her (so far). The picture below is of a dinner that I made for her birthday 3 years ago in Manayunk. The star of the show was the Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Oyster Mushrooms, but other items included in the dinner were Tarragon Lamb Ribs Au Poivre, Toasted Pine Nut Couscous, and Ginger Snap Pumpkin Mousse Cups for dessert. This soup is very easy to make if you have chicken stock on hand. Just roast some pumpkin and onions, put them in a pot with chicken stock and a few spices, and add the roasted mushrooms before serving. The homemade stock is not essential, but will take the soup to the next level.

This recipe was deemed successful by Lauren for a few reasons:
  • It incorporated 2 of her favorite ingredients: pumpkin and oyster mushrooms 
  • The homemade chicken stock added great depth
  • Love was in the air
  • A little Crème Fraiche never hurt anyone


Set up your large pumpkin on the flat side, cut it in half with a big heavy knife (being VERY careful of your fingers) and scoop out the seeds. Cut off the rind of the pumpkin and cut it into 1 or 2 inch cubes. Cut a 2 medium onions in quarters and place them on your baking dish along with your pumpkins. In a separate baking dish, add your oyster mushrooms (because they release water and you don’t want to steam your pumpkin or onions).  Toss both trays of ingredients in a light coating of olive oil, lightly salt them, and place in a 400 F / 200 C oven for about 45 minutes. When the pumpkin and onions are caramelized, remove them from the oven.

Place the pumpkin and onions in a large stockpot along with your 3 cups of chicken stock. You can vary the amount of liquid added to adjust the thickness of the soup to your liking. Add in your 1 tsp nutmeg, and 1 T of cracked black pepper. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. If you have a stick blender, go to town. If not, let the soup cool first before blending because hot liquid can burst out of your blender, scalding your face and messing up your kitchen.

To serve, adjust the salt, place in a bowl, drop in a generous spoonful of crème fraiche, and top with the mushrooms.

Serves 4-6 for dinner, or about 12 as a side dish. Freezes great (without crème fraiche).
1 medium pumpkin diced into 1 inch cubes (about 3 cups)
2 medium onions, quartered
1 large bunch oyster mushrooms
3 cups chicken stock
1 tsp ground nutmeg
8 oz crème fraiche
Salt and pepper to taste

Creativity options:
Add in curry powder
Add in a strong blue cheese
Handfuls of cilantro or parsley

Song: Remy Shand - Rocksteady

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