Well. Last post was a summer post about ice cream. And today we have a winter post about soup. I guess it is stating the obvious to say it’s been a while since my last post.
I’m not going to waste our time with some long explanation and apology, Dear Reader. Life happens, as you know. Suffice to say, I hope to get back into the swing of things and post more regularly, so bear with me.
Now. Let’s talk pumpkin.
This fall, I had an overabundance of little pumpkins hanging around the house, discarded after a Halloween celebration. I was determined not to let them go to waste. I was going to roast them up and turn them into something delicious.
I failed. They rotted. It was gross.
So when I paid a recent visit to Radish & Rye at the Broad Street Market, my local farmer’s market, and saw some baby pam pumpkins sitting there looking cute, I couldn’t help myself. I grabbed a few, along with an apple, some shallots and some peanut butter and set to soup making.
Because I got the ingredients from Radish & Rye, I know that they are locally produced and in the case of the veggies — sustainably grown. Radish & Rye Food Hub is a food stand that exclusively sells produce and products that are grown or made by local, small-scale family farmers and producers. Most of their produce is grown using organic farming methods. In the case of my pumpkins, they were sourced from the local organic Aaron Kanagy Farm in Mifflintown.
Radish & Rye carries great locally produced canned and dry goods. You can always count on Zimmerman Peanut Butter, a delicious local butter that I’ll likely dedicate a whole post to. They also carry local favorite Torchbearer Sauces, my favorite pickles in the world — Ep!c Pickles, coffee from Little Amps and more.
I never visit the Market without a stop at Radish & Rye. We get all our milk and other dairy from the Hub, sourced from Apple Valley Creamery. I also pick up my Piney Mountain Orchard vegetable CSA there, even in winter now that Megan added a winter share. Proprietors Dusty & Julie James are both incredibly nice and know their products really well. I often talk to them about how best to use their seasonal veggies.
I’d made curry soup with winter squash and root vegetables before with success, so I figured a curry-seasoned soup with pumpkin would turn out well. I wanted to add a little bit of sweetness without overdoing it or needing to add sugar, so that’s where the apple came from. I picked shallots because I wanted a more mild flavor than straight garlic and onion. And honestly, the Zimmerman’s peanut butter was at eye level when I was thinking about the recipe, so into the grocery basket it went.
This recipe could easily be made with canned pumpkin, but to be honest, it isn’t much effort to cut up and roast the whole pumpkin. You simply lop the tops off, quarter the little globes, scoop out the seeds and pop the quarters in the oven for a while. 2-3 little baby pam or sugar pumpkins should be enough for this recipe. I used three and had enough roast pumpkin left over to use in a pasta sauce the next day.
A lot about this recipe can be adjusted to suit your taste or what you have on hand. Don’t like peanut butter or have an allergy? Leave it out, the pumpkin and apple will still taste great. Want to make this vegan or vegetarian? Use veggie stock instead of chicken. Like a spicier soup? Add more curry or more cayenne. Want an even creamier texture? Stir in some cream or half and half after blending. You could even substitute other winter squash or root vegetables for some or all of the pumpkin — butternut squash, kabocha squash or sweet potatoes would all work well.
The touches of curry and spice in this filling soup will keep you warm in the cold winter months. Pumpkins aren't just for fall -- you can generally find them into the colder months as well. Adjust the amount of spice to suit your tastes. And if you don't like peanuts or are dealing with allergies, feel free to leave out the peanut butter -- the soup will still be good without it.
- 2-3 small baking pumpkins (baby pam or sugar), enough to get 2 1/2 cups of chopped, skinned pumpkin
- 1 Tbsp garam masala
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp tumeric
- 1 dash cayenne (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/c cup diced shallot
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup peanut butter (preferably natural peanut butter without added salt)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the tops off your pumpkins, then cut them in halves or quarters top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds and strings inside (saving the seeds for another use if you so choose).
- Place pumpkin pieces face down on the parchment-covered baking sheet, and bake for 45-50 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.
- In a small bowl, mix the garam masala, cumin, tumeric and salt with 2 Tbsp water to make a paste. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium to medium-high heat.
- Add shallots, sauté about four minutes until they are starting to soften.
- Add ginger and spice paste, sauté another two minutes
- Add the apple, sauté another two minutes
- Add the broth, bring to a simmer.
- Add the peanut butter, stir.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes.
- Blend soup using an immersion blender or by transferring to a blender (working carefully and in batches if necessary).
- Top with anything from cilantro and a few dashes of Sriracha sauce to roast pepitas and a drizzle of maple syrup.