Recipe by Gandalf The White
Rachael Ray made this soup on her TV Food Network Thanksgiving Special show in 2004, "Thanksgiving in 60" (minutes) -- episode TMSP02. I don't think it appears in any of her cookbooks, because it wouldn't fit into the typical 30 minute meal, but it is available on the TVFN website, at least for a while. I downloaded the recipe, tried it and it tastes as wonderful as I thought it would ... clearly what makes this soup different from all the other "spicy pumpkin soup" recipes is the base of celery and onions, the use of a roux with chicken stock and the spicy relish/garnish ... It looks scary, with all the ingredients, but it's actually very fast, simple and delicious -- exactly as Rachael promised ... and if you love pumpkin soups, this will be a change from the usual ... Also, to make this kosher (meat), substitute coconut milk for the cream and use a kosher chicken stock. Flavor is more like a Thai pumpkin soup, with hot sauce rather than chili paste, but it works quite well. To make it kosher (milk), substitute a vegetable stock for the chicken stock. The mouth feel will be quite different but the flavor should be good. Be careful of the sodium content of the vegetable stock -- you will have to adjust the seasonings and may want to start by skipping the salt entirely in the Vegetable Base part. To make it kosher (parve), do both substitutions -- I have not tried the last two variations, so I can't vouch for the resulting flavor. Rachel says this makes 4 servings as an entree or 8 as a first course. Personally, I found 6 as a first course seemed more reasonable. The dietary information is based on a yield of 8 servings from this recipe.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 2 stalks celery & leaves, finely chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning (modified per review) or 2 teaspoons ground thyme (modified per review)
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 6 cups chicken stock
Pumpkin and Main Ingredients
- 28 ounces cooked pumpkin puree
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1 crisp apple, finely chopped (McIntosh or Granny Smith)
- 1⁄4 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1⁄2 cup dried sweetened cranberries, chopped
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions See How It's Made
- Make the Vegetable Base (steps 2-6).
- Heat a medium size pot over medium to medium high heat.
- Add the oil, then the butter (the oil prevents the butter from burning); I prefer unsalted butter, but salted is OK-- just adjust the amount of salt you use in the seasoning step appropriately.
- Once the butter has melted, add the celery, onion, and bay leaf; If you don't have fresh bay, you can use dried, but you'll have to use less and the amount will depend on how old your herb is.
- Season with salt and pepper (Remember, you'll be able to adjust seasoning later, and if you're using canned chicken stock, it can be very salty, so if in doubt, go lightly at this stage).
- Cook until tender, 6-7 minutes.
- Add the Roux (steps 8-10).
- Add the flour, poultry seasoning and hot sauce (I use Tabasco, but any brand will do).
- Cook for 1-2 minutes, to let the flour cook-- you want a golden brown color, not a dark brown.
- Whisk in the chicken stock (I use a low sodium variety, but again, as long as you adjust for the amount of sodium, any brand will do) and bring the liquid to a bubble (above a simmer, but not a boil).
- Add the Pumpkin and Main Ingredients (steps 12-15).
- Whisk in the pumpkin in large spoonfuls.
- Simmer for 10 minutes to let all the ingredients thicken and the flavors come together.
- Add the cream and nutmeg and stir to combine.
- Reduce the heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.
- To Make the Chili Cran-Apple Relish (garnish), combine all the relish ingredients (apple, onion, lemon juice, cranberries, chili powder, honey, cinnamon), then adjust the seasonings in the relish.
- To Serve (Presentation), adjust the seasonings in the soup, serve the soup in shallow bowls, and put several spoonfuls of the relish on top.