Friday, November 8, 2013

Holiday Progressive Dinner - Roasted Pumpkin Soup Recipe

*Disclaimer - I received Farberware products to facilitate this review.  No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required.  As with all Adventures in All Things Food & Family reviews, all opinions and experiences are my own.

To me, Winter is a season that should be filled with warm and hearty dishes. Soup is my absolute favorite way to be warmed up on a cold day. So for the third week of our Holiday Progressive Dinner Series I chose a item close to my heart.

It is a simple recipe that I fell in love with half-way around the world in Japan. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I do.

For this third week of the series, I am thrilled to announce that our sponsor is Farberware. I was sent a lovely 12-piece set of High Performance Stainless Steel,  but the brand, going back all the way to 1900, has a wide range of cookware.

The set includes: 1 Qt. Covered Saucepan, 2 Qt. Covered Saucepan, 5 Qt. Covered Dutch Oven, 8" Nonstick Skillet, 11" Covered Nonstick Skillet, Slotted turner, Slotted spoon, Solid spoon.

For my pumpkin soup I chose to use the 5 Qt. Covered Dutch Oven. It was the perfect size to simmer either a big batch of spaghetti sauce or soup without splattering. I love making soups all in the same pot, so I am always looking for a thick enough bottom to not burn my onions and garlic, as well as high enough sides to keep all my liquids bubbling happily away.

The Nonstick skillets did a great job at both morning scrambles and browning chicken.

But, my absolute favorite piece out the collection was the 2 Qt. covered saucepan that had pour spouts and a straining lid. This was a dream for making pasta for my family. No need to grab an extra colander, I could keep everything right in the pot.

Overall it is a beautiful base set and also came with durable Prestige kitchen tools to protect that Nonstick surface and get all your needs met in the kitchen.

Connect with Farberware on their Facebook page, Twitter and Pinterest for product announcements and promotions. Don't miss the "Thanksgiveaway" on their Facebook page right now.

Here is the menu for this week:

Holiday Progressive Dinner 
Week 3 Recipe Links

Roasted Pumpkin Soup at Adventures in All Things Food

Roast Turkey Breast at Flour on My Face

at Busy-at-Home

Mashed Potato Puff at The Gunny Sack

at Daily Dish Recipes

Now, I realize pumpkin is on everyone's mind right now, but there is a whole lot of it on the farm right now. From butternut to delicata, carnival and kabocha, we are up to our ears in squash and various forms of pumpkin.

For this soup I could have used a traditional pumpkin. Maybe a small sugar pie pumpkin would have been nice. No, I want to introduce you to the humble kabocha.

Kabocha is making quite the rounds here in the US. It is a Japanese 'pumpkin' big on flavor and very meaty. It makes an ideal pumpkin for both BBQ and puree.

While living abroad in Japan during college, my host Mother made a lovely pumpkin soup. I begged her for the recipe and was surprised to find it only contained 4 ingredients, with an optional fifth forcream. Yes, this little pumpkin has so much flavor you won't need a bunch of fancy ingredients.

See how thin that outer shell is? Steamed, you can eat the outer layer. I like to make my soup in a hurry, so I scoop out the seeds and just slice it thin. Tossed in olive oil it will roast nicely and the skin will easily come away from the meaty orange flesh.

If you don't want to bother with soup, just dust the pumpkin with some brown sugar, or drizzle with maple syrup. So simple and yummy!

While my pumpkin was roasting, I started sweating off my onion in my Farberware 5 Qt. Covered Dutch Oven. I like them to be sweet and soft before I puree up my soup.

Pop the soft pumpkin, onions and stock into a blender and puree till smooth. Then I throw it all back into my big pot to warm through or reheat for dinner. Like I said, cream is totally optional. Sometimes I feel like adding it, and sometimes I just don't.

Of course, if you are looking to really get fancy for the holidays. Slice and bake some of the carnival squash to serve the roasted pumpkin soup in. Then top with some roasted pepitas - that is the hulled pumpkin seeds roasted with a little salt and olive oil. They add an amazing crunch that the thick and creamy soup needs.

Make this soup up ahead of time and reheat it to serve to your guests. They will never guess how simple it really is.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

You Will Need:
1/2 large kabocha (Japanese pumpkin, or any other type of large hard squash)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 c. chicken stock + more to reach desired consistency
splash of heavy cream *optional
roasted pepita for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Half the kabocha and remove the seeds. Slice into thin wedges and toss with olive oil and a little salt. Roast until fork tender, about 25 minutes. Let the wedges cool enough to handle. Then cube and remove the skin. Toss into a blender.

While the pumpkin is roasting, sweat down a diced onion until translucent. Add this to the blender along with chicken stock and cream if desired. Pulse up the soup till smooth. Add more chicken stock if needed to thin out the soup. Season to taste.

Serve in roasted carnival squash bowls and garnish with roasted pepitas.


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