Those bright–orange banks of jack-be-little pumpkins spotted at farmers markets can be much more than teeny decorations—they make the perfect vessel for nutty, autumnal pumpkin soup. Here, a simple at-home recipe that takes advantage of fall’s fleeting flavors.
Mini-Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Pepitas and Marshmallow Cream
• 4–6 fresh mini-pumpkins, 4 inches in diameter
• 1 three-pound fresh pumpkin, cut in half
• 1 one-pound butternut squash, cut in half
• 6 cups chicken stock
• 3/4 cup heavy cream
• 1 1/2 shallots, minced
• 1/8 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1 herb sachet: 1 bay leaf, a pinch of peppercorns, and 1 sprig fresh thyme
• salt, pepper, and sugar, to taste
• olive oil
• 2 egg whites
• 1 cup corn syrup
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 vanilla bean
• salt, to taste
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Cinnamon Saltine
1 cup all purpose flour
1-2 tablespoons of butter, melted
4 to 8 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove seeds from large pumpkin and squash. Clean pumpkin seeds and set aside; discard squash seeds. Brush large pumpkin and squash with olive oil, season with salt, and roast 40–50 minutes until tender. When cool, scoop out the flesh and set aside, and discard the shells. In a medium saucepan, sweat shallots with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the pumpkin, squash, spices, and chicken stock. Simmer for about an hour. Next, puree the soup in a blender with cream until velvety. Season with salt and pepper. Toast the pumpkin seeds (“pepitas”) in a 375° oven for 5–8 minutes. Season with salt and sugar.
Marshmallow Cream Whip egg whites and corn syrup with a mixer until fluffy (about 10 minutes). Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean. Whip for 2–3 minutes. Salt to taste.
Soup “Bowls” Wash mini-pumpkins and cut off tops. Clean the insides of any debris. Heat shells in a 200° oven for 10–15 minutes just before serving. Pour soup into the hollowed-out mini-pumpkins, top with a dollop of marshmallow cream, sprinkle with toasted pepitas, and serve.
For Cinnamon Saltines Place the flour and ground cinnamon into a food processor. Add the melted butter (1 tablespoon for crispy and 2 tablespoon for crunchy). Add salt. Pulse until well blended. Add the water a tablespoon at a time until you get a ball that sticks together. Be careful not to add too much water. Place on cookie sheet. At this time you can cut, shape, and dock the dough as you would like. Place in a 400-degree oven and bake for 8 to 14 minutes until light brown. Let the saltine cool and serve.
Photo by Tony Valainis
This article appeared in the October 2012 issue.