Lekker: Pumpkin Soup

You know what success tastes like? THIS SOUP. No, really. I am so thrilled to have finally mastered a recipe for pumpkin soup I could SING! 1, because I refuse to be defeated with crappy recipes when I have my mind set on something and 2, because I am so. sick. of pumpkin by now. Trust me, I've gone through about 3-4 different recipes in my pursuit of perfection and since I was raised with a "third world country" mentality I can't justify throwing food away--so I've been eating a lot of pumpkin soup. And there's nothing more frustrating that eating something that isn't quite right! Too garlicky. Way too spicy. Too rich and unhealthy. Sigh.

And then, over the weekend, finally...perfection. I tossed all the recipes in the rubbish bin and decided to wing it, and whaddaya know...finally, something I can rave about. Huzzah! Not only is the colour of this soup beautiful and vibrant, but it lets the pumpkin shine as the main ingredient while still maintaining a complex flavour profile. It's also super easy and quick to whip up--and even better the next day.

Pumpkin Soup
makes about 3 servings

What You Need
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium shallot, diced
2 small leeks, white and light green parts only, washed well and thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced in half lengthways and diced small
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh sage, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups pumpkin puree (Make your life easy and use the tinned stuff; just make sure it's pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling)
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons heavy cream
freshly ground pepper, to taste

You'll need an immersion blender for this one, or, work in batches pureeing in a standard blender.

What You Do
1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter until the foam subsides and it turns a lovely light golden-brown colour. Keep  close eye on it, as it can go from beautifully nutty and brown to blackened and burnt within seconds. Add your shallot, leeks and celery and saute for 5-7 minutes or until soft and golden brown. Add the garlic and sage and cook for 1-2 minutes more until fragrant.

2. Pour in your wine and let it simmer and reduce until there is no liquid left. Add the broth and the pumpkin puree and stir well to combine. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender. Taste, and adjust salt and pepper as necessary. I find I usually need about 4 turns from a pepper grinder, and actually I don't use any salt since I think the broth is plenty salty enough. Stir in the 3 tablespoons of heavy cream, and serve!

If you wanna be all fancy-pants, serve it with a couple of whole sage leaves fried quickly in butter. A multigrain, highly seeded bread would be delicious toasted alongside this.
Posted on October 31, 2013 .