Sunday, November 11, 2012

Creamy Pumpkin-Red Pepper Soup

It has been so warm these past couple of weeks in October and November here in Iowa that I haven't been able to make any soup at all.  I was almost ecstatic to see the temperature drop from almost 70 yesterday to a mere 40 degrees today.  God even added a drizzly, rainy morning to the docket as well.

This is from my Cooking Light magazine, November 2012.  I had a pumpkin squash I had been waiting to use from the garden for over a month now, so I was pretty excited to be able to use it.  The other ingredient I've never used before that I found utterly amazing is called "five-spice powder".  It is an Asian spice comprised of China cassia cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, ginger, and cloves. I bought mine from Penzy's Spices.

I've, of course, taken some liberties with some of the ingredients and measurements, but it turned out fantastic!

Without further delay, here is a fall favorite of mine:

Creamy Pumpkin-Red Pepper Soup

Hands-on Time:  30 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes

The gorgeous veggies ready to go in the oven for roasting
with the awesome spices!
4 cups chopped & peeled pumpkin squash
2 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper
2 cups chopped & peeled sweet potato
1 cup chopped green onions
1 tsp. five-spice powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 tsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp. salt
6 cups no-salt-added chicken stock
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Fresh rosemary (garnish)
Almond slivers (garnish)
Parmigiano Reggiano (garnish)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Combine first 8 ingredients (from pumpkin squash to salt) in a large mixing bowl.  Toss well, and place vegetable mixture in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan or large cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until tender, only stirring once.
3.  Combine vegetables, stock, and a dash of salt in a large cooking pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then let simmer for 5 minutes.  I added another dash of cumin and five-spice powder for good measure. :)
4.  Put butter in large bowl.
5.  Place part of vegetable mixture in a blender.  Remove the center piece of the blender lid (to allow steam to escape.)  Place a clean towel over opening in the blender lid (to avoid splatters).  Process until smooth.  Pour into large bowl.  Repeat this procedure with the remaining vegetable/stock mixture.  Stir in butter.  Top with fresh rosemary, slivered almonds, and/or parmigiano reggiano, if desired.

The final product with fresh rosemary sprigs, slivered almonds,
green onions, and parmigiano reggiano.  
Note:  I had 1/4 cup of heavy cream in my fridge, so I added that to the vegetable stock mixture as well, and it made it creamier.  You wouldn't have to use that, but I was making use of my stocked fridge.  The original recipe's nutritional information is below.  It might be slightly more with the 1/4 cup of heavy cream I added.  It definitely made more than 6 servings, the original amount that the recipe makes.

Nutritional Information (1 cup per serving)
Calories: 120
Fat: 3.8 g
Protein: 6.2 g
Carbs:  16.2 g
Fiber: 2.9 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 279 mg