As you know from last week’s post, I am very excited to have found Abel & Cole and began explaining what a CSA is and what it means to support sustainable agriculture and I plan to continue to tell you all about it, but this week there is something more exciting to share!
Each month, Abel & Cole hosts a recipe photo competition on their blog. And because I enjoy posting recipes and taking pictures for my own blog, I decided to give their recipe a whirl and enter!
It is really easy to do, make the recipe then take a picture of your completed work and submit! The winner receives the fresh ingredients and a bottle of organic wine that would pair with next month’s recipe for the next recipe photo competition! So basically, surprise ingredients to make a delicious recipe with and hours of fun taking different photos and planning my shots!
October’s recipe was Pumpkin Soup! Which is coincidentally the title of one of Mei’s favorite books to read!
Have you read this book? It’s a delightful tale of a duck, squirrel and cat who make a batch of pumpkin soup and as always, things go awry but everything is settled in the end… ! Mei loves to make each animals noises as we look at the pictures and read along before bed. Here are some images from the book, it is called “Pumpkin Soup” by Helen Cooper and it inspired the shot that I took and submitted to Abel & Cole for October’s Recipe Photo Competition!
As far as the recipe goes, I halved it since I bought a bishop squash to make this with, and it was a fairly small one – just enough for two servings! We even managed to find a nice local cider for it! That being said, I halved the recipe below, adjusted the spices to my liking, and decided against roasting the pumpkin “bowl” in the oven and it was like a colorful, warm, orange hug!
- 1 pumpkin or rounded squash
- 1 generous lump of butter (2 TBS for me!)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 bottle of cider
- a few mugs of warm stock
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or the seeds scraped from half of a vanilla pod
- pinch of chili powder, to taste
- pinch of ground cinnamon
Carve the top off of the pumpkin or squash. Remove the seeds and goop then discard (save the seeds if you like!). Carve and scoop out the flesh with a spoon and knife, leaving a thick enough wall to contain the soup. Coarsely chop the flesh and set aside.
If you would like to eat the entire pumpkin, preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/400F.
Place a saucepan over medium heat, add the butter. Once it is melted and bubbly, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook slowly until the onions look soft and smells sweet. Fold in the pumpkin flesh and stir until all the bits are glistening with butter. Cover and sweat over a low simmer until the flesh is mushy, about 20-30 minutes.
Remove the lid and stir in the vanilla and chili powder. Cook for a moment.
Slowly stir in the cider, then add enough stock to get the soup to double/heavy cream consistency. Puree the soup until smooth, in small batches in a blender or use an immersion blender. Pour the soup into the carved out pumpkin.
If you would like to eat the entire pumpkin, set the pumpkin, filled with the soup on a foil lined baking sheet and pop it in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is just tender and the soup is bubbly.
Of if you would rather just use the pumpkin as a whimsical, fun bowl, serve the soup piping hot in the carved out pumpkin!