Soup

Roasted Pumpkin-Poblano Soup

Warm and velvety and with a hint of roasted sweetness….It is inevitable to succumb to the cliche of pumpkin soup. I assure you there are 1,000 recipes out there with all different combinations spices, creamy, vegan, vegetarian…This version is my humble version of the Roasted pumpkin-poblano soup.

For the past few years, I’ve been making my vegetable soups under one principle: “do not add chicken stock”. Yes, it is that simple. I don’t want, under any circumstance, my broccoli soup to taste like chicken (or my potatoes, carrots, or any vegetable to taste like the bird). I want to savor the flavor of the vegetable. It is certainly a challenge to follow this principle because our inner chicken stock flavored souls desperately want to add more “depth of flavor”. For me, this is totally wrong. The way I make my vegetable soups are by enhancing the vegetables using different cooking methods like roasting, grilling, braising; all these cooking methods bring out the vegetable qualities, enhance the sweetness and flavor concentration to the soup. And yes, at times just a little help from other vegetable friends can harmonize the flavor.

Pumpkin has a delicate flavor so it is easy to mask, yet easier to harmonize. I love roasting or braizing. In this case, I chose to roast the pumpkin and add some caramelized sweet onions to bring out the sweet and earthy flavor of the pumpkin. Roasted poblanos, charred sweet corn, and some tortilla crisps play perfectly in this soup and add contrast in texture. With no doubt, it is one of my favorite soups to make, so easy and comforting. It freezes well if you want to store it for a quick-thaw meal and I just can tell you that after the photo shooting this soup was our good comforting dinner…

Roasted_Pumpkin_soup_ roasting&pureeRoasted_Pumpkin-Poblano_Soup_puree

Roasting pumpkin is easy and so rewarding, I love the way the house smells, it’s a welcoming to fall. When getting ready for the pumpkin season, I usually pick 2 small pumpkins the size of a volley-ball or smaller. They are easier to cut in half and they cook faster than the bigger ones. Once I cut them in half, I scrape all the inner seeds, save them for feature roasting if I feel like-, and I place the pumpkin halves flat side down on a full sheet tray covered with foil rubbed with some oil to avoid from sticking. I bake them on the lower rack in the oven at high-temperature 450F for 25-35 minutes or until a paring knife inserts easily through the skin. Remove them from oven and let them cool off. Using a spoon I scrape all the pumpkin ~this is my favorite part so I don’t have to peel the pumpkin, which is hard and lots of work~.  Once I scrape all pumpkin into a bowl, I use my handy-dandy immersion blender to puree the pumpkin. About each pumpkin half yields 1 to 1.5 cups or puree depending on the size of the pumpkin, then I make little reusable bags with 1 or 2 cups of the puree depending on the recipes I want to make, and freeze. 2 pumpkins is usually all the pumpkin I need and I’m ready for the season! Click on this link to check a How to roast a pumpkin tutorial with step by step photos and how to make a delicious pumpkin seed snack!

Roasted Pumpkin-Poblano soup

Serves 2 hungry persons as the main dish for dinner or 4 starter soups.

2 cups roasted pumpkin purée (I do prefer natural and roasting my own, you will need about 1 small pumpkin the size of a softball. You can use canned, about 2- 8oz cans, but it is definitely not my favorite option)
4 cups water
1 small sweet yellow onion caramelized
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 -1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Garnish with:

2 poblanos roasted, skin, devein and cut into strips
1 cup of charred corn kernels, about 1-2 ears of corn depending on size
¼ cup of Mexican cream or Greek yogurt, If using Greek yogurt dilute with a bit of water and add a pinch of salt.
2 corn tortillas, thinly cut into strips, baked or fried

Roasted_Pumpkin-Poblano_Soup_Garnish-Toppings

Directions:

Over medium-high heat using a heavy bottom soup pot, place the oil the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until they are soft and translucent. Lower the heat and keep on cooking until deep golden brown and caramelized.
Add pumpkin puree, water salt, pepper nutmeg. With the help of an immersion blender blend the soup until smooth.Let it simmer until bubbly hot. Adjust the liquids and salt if needed, for desired consistency and taste. At last, right before serving, add the tablespoon of butter and stir until melted and incorporated.

Roasted_Pumpkin_Poblano_Soup_caramelized onions-fried tortilla strips

Serve warm in a soup bowl and garnish with the warm poblanos, charred corn, and thinly fried tortilla strips.
You can add a dollop of Greek yogurt or a swirl of cream.

For vegan:

Use: vegan butter and replace cream swirl with any soy or coconut or almond based cream.

Roasted_Pumpkin-Poblano_Soup_serving presentation

Music Pairing: The smashing Pumpkins, Tonight, Tonight


Roasted Pumpkin-Poblano Soup

Warm up with this cozy Mexican spin on a fall pumpkin soup!

Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Mariana McEnroe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups roasted pumpkin purée I do prefer natural and roasting my own, you will need about 1 small pumpkin the size of a softball. You can use canned, about 2- 8oz cans, but it is definitely not my favorite option
  • 4 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 small sweet onion, caramelized
  • 1 tablesspoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Garnish with:

  • 2 large roasted poblanos, skin, deveined and cut into strips
  • 1 cup charred corn kernels, about 2 small ears of corn depending on size
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, diluted with some milk or water and pinch of salt
  • 2 pieces corn tortillas, thinly cut into strips, baked or fried.

Instructions

  1. Over medium-high heat in a soup pot, place the oil the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until they are soft and translucent. Lower the heat and let them become brown and caramelized. About 7-8 minutes.

    Add pumpkin puree, water/or/vegetable stock, salt, white pepper, nutmeg. Let it simmer until bubbly hot. Adjust the liquids for desired consistency. 

    At last, add the tablespoon of butter and stir until melted and incorporated.

    Serve warm in a soup bowl and garnish with the poblanos, charred corn, and thinly fried tortilla strips.

    You can add a dollop of Greek yogurt or a swirl of Mexican crema. Enjoy!

 

 

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Gazpacho Andaluz … recipe from a Sevillian chef!

I had the fortune to travel to Spain in company of my Grandma Ana, she is an 80 years young Lady a globetrotter and highly energized with an incredible charisma. You can imagine what a trip I had with her! … it was one of the best experiences of my life. We traveled for two weeks, starting from Madrid, clockwise all around the country from Segovia, Valladolid, Burgos, Vitória, Bilbao, San Sebastián, Pamplona, Zaragoza, Barcelona, Tarragona, Valencia, Granada, Costa del Sol, Gibraltar, Sevilla , Toledo…Yes! This lady traveled for the 7th time to Spain, just for the pleasure of it and decided to take me along with her… I said it was about time grandma! Lol!…

We had very diverse food, a little sample from the different regions. Seville is a beautiful city and the Gazpacho Andaluz stole my heart. It was simply fresh, smooth, light, true to its tomato nature. Me being from Mexico and have studied culinary arts, I have had lots of different versions of Gazpacho, and frankly the mind of my palette always connected it to eating salsa with a missing ingredient!(oops I said it!). It had to be in Seville where I discovered the real deal… good place to be right?.

My grandma and I were having lunch at the hotel and of course I asked for Gazpacho as an appetizer. When I had the first spoonful I was hooked. Smooth, velvety, sweet, acid, fresh tomato flavored cold soup with little crunchy pieces (tropezones) of diced seedless cucumbers, bell peppers , white onion, seedless tomato, white bread, drizzled with a fantastic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the region. I finished my bowl cleaning it with a piece of bread as is good manners in Spain; and before the next course, I apologized to my grandma and I had to get up from the table. I could not wait to talk to the person who had made this cosmic cold soup. Who made the Gazpacho I asked the waitress?… “Chef Fernando”he replied…

Chef Fernando was really friendly and share the recipe with me, I also I asked his secret to such a smooth velvety texture, He said “mucha maquina” meaning lots of time on the food blender, or food processor, he explained me that by blending it long enough it will marry the flavors and give the right consistency. Well now this is one of my favorite dishes to make in summer during tomato season. You have to have good quality tomatoes there’s no way around. I’m sure you have access to a good Farmer Market in your city, go the extra mile to get them fresh, is worth it.

Gazpacho 01

Gazpacho Andaluz

Recipe adapted by the Good Samaritan Fernando the Sevillian chef.

Serves 4 or 2 good-hearted Sevillians!

Ingredients:

2 small day old demi-baguettes or one small ciabatta bread
1.5lbs of ripe tomatoes skinned and (seeded optional)
10-15 Cherry and Gold tomatoes cut in halves.
1 Jade Cucumber (English cucumber is best if you are using regular cucumber remove the seeds it will work fine.)
1 green bell pepper
3 cloves of garlic
3 Tablespoons of Sherry Vinegar
½ cup of good fresh quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 pinch of white or black pepper
My spin: 1 sprig of fresh thyme and fresh oregano
Garnish:
Cherry and Gold tomatoes
Diced bell peppers
Finely slivered white onion
Slices or diced cucumber
Fresh thyme
Ciabatta bread toasted
Sea Salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste.
*(Cubes of ham, diced hard boil egg is also good variation).

Method:

First, break bread into pieces, and let it soak with about ¼ of a cup of water.( About 20.min.).In the mean time prepare the Tomato Concasse, this is a great french technique to skin the tomatoes (and is really easy and fast). Next get ready with medium size pot of boiling water and a bowl with cold ice water. With a paring knife, make a shallow cross on the back of the tomato. Blanch the tomato for about 20-30 seconds. (Depending if you store your tomatoes on the refrigerator, or at room temperature). Quickly shock the tomato in the ice water bowl to stop the cooking process. And proceed with the rest. Remove them from ice bath and with a paring knife remove the skin from the bottom cross of the tomato. It is so easy you will want to do this every time.

Cut the tomatoes in quarters and remove seeds. In a food processor or blender, place the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, soaking bread garlic, herbs, sea salt, vinegar, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add a little water for desired consistency, and just like Chef Fernando said “Mucha Maquina” Blend it throughly.
If you find it not to smooth you can pass the soup through a fine sieve. Refrigerate soup for about 30-45 min. Serve cold with garnishes on the side so each person can customize their soup. Enjoy!

Tomato-Concasse_steps

Gazpacho Andaluz_Gazpacho texture_mucha maquina! ~ Yes, more please!

Gazpacho-closeup-velvety

Gazpacho-Andaluz,-Garnishes_

Gazpacho Andaluz, the greatest cold soup…Ole! ~

Enjoy!

Music Pairing: Paco de Lucia, Manolo Sanlucar- Sevillana a Dos Guitarras

Gazpacho Andaluz

Recipe adapted by the Good Samaritan Fernando the Sevillian chef. Serves 4 or 2 good-hearted Sevillians!
Course Brunch, Soup
Cuisine Spain
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author Mariana McEnroe

Ingredients

  • 2 small day old demi-baguettes or one small ciabatta bread
  • 1.5 lbs of ripe tomatoes skinned and seeded optional
  • 10-15 Cherry and Gold tomatoes cut in halves.
  • 1 Jade Cucumber English cucumber is best if you are using regular cucumber remove the seeds it will work fine.
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons of Sherry Vinegar
  • ½ cup of good fresh quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pinch of white or black pepper
  • My spin: 1 sprig of fresh thyme and fresh oregano

Garnish:

  • Cherry and Gold tomatoes
  • Diced bell peppers
  • Finely slivered white onion
  • Slices or diced cucumber
  • Fresh thyme
  • Ciabatta bread toasted
  • Sea Salt Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste.
  • * Cubes of ham, diced hard boil egg is also good variation.

Instructions

  1. First, break bread into pieces, and let it soak with about ¼ of a cup of water.( About 20.min.).In the mean time prepare the Tomato Concasse, this is a great french technique to skin the tomatoes (and is really easy and fast). Next get ready with medium size pot of boiling water and a bowl with cold ice water. With a paring knife, make a shallow cross on the back of the tomato. Blanch the tomato for about 20-30 seconds. (Depending if you store your tomatoes on the refrigerator, or at room temperature). Quickly shock the tomato in the ice water bowl to stop the cooking process. And proceed with the rest. Remove them from ice bath and with a paring knife remove the skin from the bottom cross of the tomato. It is so easy you will want to do this every time.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in quarters and remove seeds. In a food processor or blender, place the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, soaking bread garlic, herbs, sea salt, vinegar, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add a little water for desired consistency, and just like Chef Fernando said “Mucha Maquina” Blend it throughly.
  3. If you find it not to smooth you can pass the soup through a fine sieve. Refrigerate soup for about 30-45 min. Serve cold with garnishes on the side so each person can customize their soup. Enjoy!

 

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