Last night was so blissfully chilly, and the grocery store had pie pumpkins, so it was time to make my favorite fall supper: PUMPKIN SOUP!
My favorite recipe for pumpkin soup, so far, may be found here. I used a plain, large sugar pumpkin (aka pie pumpkin) last night, but I've also used an Australian blue pumpkin (DELISH). After I left the store, I noticed the peanut pumpkins described in the recipe with the gourds outside the store. I think I may be making pumpkin soup again very soon!
I used veggie broth instead of chicken broth, and I forgot the Gruyere, so I rubbed garlic on the toasts instead. I love the sharpness of the garlic toasts in contrast to the soup anyway.
This is NOT a sweet soup. It is a delicious, perfect, savory soup. And please, use fresh rosemary and thyme. I left out the sage and Italian parsley, and even the nutmeg (the husband is picky about herbs), but the thyme and rosemary smell heavenly with the pumpkin. Seriously.
We also read Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper, and one of its companion books, Delicious! A Pumpkin Soup Story. (We have discovered a third book exists, called A Pipkin of Pepper, but our library system doesn't have it.)
Pumpkin Soup was a favorite of mine for storytime at the bookstore.
Helen Cooper's illustrations are beautiful, and her writing is perfect for reading aloud. The story is about a cat, a squirrel, and a duck. They make pumpkin soup for dinner every night. They each have a job to do, but problems arise when one day, the duck announces that he wants the squirrel's job: stirring the soup. There is a fight, and Duck runs away. Making pumpkin soup just isn't the same. Only Duck knows the right amount of salt to add to the pot.
I decided to ask for Little Sis's help in describing the books.
I interrupted her drawing time.
I was very lucky to get her to talk to me at all.
(She takes her art very, very seriously.)
Me: What is pumpkin soup about?
Little Sis: A cat, a duck, and a squirrel. They make pumpkin soup.
Me: Where do they live?
Little Sis: A cabin.
Me: What does the cabin look like?
Little Sis: A pumpkin. Or an acorn.
Me: What happens when Duck tells the others that he wants to stir the soup?
Little Sis: [scribble, scribble]
Me: What happens...?
Little Sis: [stop. glare. scribble, scribble.]
In Delicious, our friends cannot find any ripe pumpkins. They go home a pull down recipe books, looking for alternative soup recipes. They try fish soup and mushroom soup, but the duck refuses to even taste them, crying for pumpkin soup. (In a cute subplot, the bugs of the cabin become upset about the wasted food, and try to devise a way to siphon any uneaten soup for themselves.)
They decide to try the market, looking for pumpkins to buy, but cannot find any there. They try beets (a recipe for "pink soup" is included on the dust jacket!), but Duck will not try the beet soup. Then Cat decides to mix yellow and red veggies together, mashing it up until the soup turns orange. Duck thinks it's pumpkin soup, until he gets the spoon closer to his mouth. Finally, Duck tries the vegetable soup. Does he like it?
Me: Would you be willing to try pink soup? It's made with beets.
Little Sis: Only if it has lots of beets in it! [she loves beet chips]
Me: What about fish soup?
Little Sis: No! But the cats will try it! [giggle, giggle]
Me: What about mixed vegetable soup?
Little Sis: [nods]
Me: Mushroom soup?
Little Sis: NO!!! ACK, mushrooms! They come from the ground.
Me: Mommy likes mushroom soup.
Little Sis: But you like mushrooms. Okay, fine then, try to find a recipe and make it, Mom. For you.
Me: What's your favorite soup?
Little Sis: Alphabet soup. [Campbell's vegetarian vegetable]
Me: What else?
Little Sis: Potato soup.
Me: I thought you liked pumpkin soup. [she only ate half her bowl last night, and it was like pulling teeth to get her to eat that much, despite the soup being her request.]
Little Sis: It's okay.
Me: What about the soup I made last night?
Little Sis: It was okay. I was full of the chicken, or whatever it was. [chicken]
Me: And if we go out to eat, what is your favorite soup to get at a restaurant?
Little Sis: Tomato.