Soupe au potiron

soupe potiron2

Pumpkin soup

To make your soup richer and more complex, cook the pumpkin in homemade broth – chicken or vegetable – instead of water. If you don’t have broth any on hand, begin by making it. Recipes are below. But if you don’t have time to make broth, not to worry. This soup is delicious made simply with water.

2-pounds (1-kilo) pumpkin
1 quart (1 liter) water or broth
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. crème fraîche or heavy cream
fresh herbs: dill, chervil or cilantro

Remove the seeds and stringy fibers from the pumpkin and discard. Remove the peel and discard. Cut the remaining pumpkin into large chunks.

Bring the water or broth to a boil in a large soup pot. Add 1 tsp. sea salt if using water or unsalted broth. Add the pumpkin and cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Blend the pumpkin and its liquid together thoroughly using a hand-blender or counter-top blender. Return to a clean pot. Add the cumin, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 tbsp. cream now, reserving the rest for later.

Gently reheat. Serve in soup bowls with a dollop of cream and a sprinkling of fresh herbs on top. Serves 3-4.

A note on broth: It is true that French home cooks often use bouillon cubes for flavoring. But that does not mean it’s a good idea. Despite what you may have read on other French recipe sites, do not use cubes to make your broth – they are full of artificial flavorings and preservatives and will add an undesirable taste to both delicate soups like this one and other heartier dishes.

Bouillon de légumes / Vegetable broth

2 quarts (2 liters) water
2 carrots, peeled
1 onion, peeled
1 bay leaf
8 peppercorns
2 tsp. sea salt or table salt

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil over a high flame. Turn down the heat to medium. Cook uncovered for about an hour – the broth should remain at a simmer or low boil. Remove from heat and strain through a strainer into a clean pot. The broth will have reduced by about half, leaving you with 1 quart or liter.

Bouillon de poule / Chicken broth

2 quarts (2 liters) water
1 chicken breast or leg
2 carrots, peeled
1 onion, peeled
1 bay leaf
8 peppercorns
2 tsp. sea salt or table salt

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil over a high flame. Turn down the heat to medium. Cook uncovered for about an hour – the broth should remain at a simmer or low boil. Skim once or twice to remove any froth that forms. Remove from heat and strain through a strainer into a clean pot. The broth will have reduced by about half, leaving you with 1 quart or liter.

 


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