October 28, 2003


Ginger Pumpkin Bisque (The Splendid Table, October 21, 2003)

Adapted from The Cape Cod Table by Lora Brody Chronicle Books 2003). Copyright © 2003 by Lora Brody

Serves 8

A velvet firecracker is what someone once called this smooth-as-silk soup with a bit of a bite. You can make it with fresh or canned pumpkin.

1 3-by-1-inch-piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
2 10-ounce cans pumpkin puree, or 2? cups fresh pumpkin puree (see below)
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup orange juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 drops Tabasco sauce
Sour cream or plain yogurt for garnish (optional)
Toasted pumpkin seeds (see below) for garnish (optional)

Place the ginger, orange zest, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, onion, stock, and orange juice in a large, covered, heavy-bottomed nonreactive stockpot set over moderate heat.

Simmer until the vegetables are very tender about 30 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes before pureeing the soup, either in a blender or with a hand-held (immersion type) blender. Add salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce to taste.

Garnish each bowlful with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt and top with toasted pumpkin seeds just before serving.

To Prepare Fresh Pumpkin Puree: Select a sugar pumpkin (the kind with the variegated vertical stripes). Scrub the surface, cut off the stem, cut the pumpkin in half, and remove the seeds and stringy pulp. Use a sharp knife to remove the outer skin. Cut the flesh into 2-inch chunks and place them in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add water to cover and set over high heat until the water comes to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer gently until the pumpkin is very tender about 20 minutes. Drain before using.

To Toast Pumpkin Seeds: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a heavy-duty baking sheet or shallow, rimmed pan with foil. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray or coat it lightly with vegetable oil. Spread the seeds and stringy pulp across the foil. Roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, using a metal spatula to turn the seeds over halfway through the cooking time, until they are deep golden brown.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 28, 2003 5:28 AM

I love ginger, and I love pumpkin, but as a soup... I dunno.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 29, 2003 9:44 AM

I just made it. Wow- it's pretty tasty. Whoda thunk?

The yams give it just enough soupy consistency that it doesn't feel like a gruel or a gazpacho.

Ginger rules.

Posted by: Judd at October 29, 2003 4:07 PM