Jean Francois Meteigner of La Cachette uses Sugar Baby Pumpkins and fresh corn to make a delicious Fall soup. He peels the pumpkin, sautés it in oil with corn, leeks and onions and a pinch of nutmeg. Then he adds chicken stock and cooks it for about 30 minutes. Finally, he purees the soup in the blender and strained to remove the corn skins. Serve hot.
Pumpkin Soup with Sage and Aged Cheese
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 cup chopped celery with leaves
5 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
5 cups roasted pumpkin or other winter squash
4 to 5 cups light vegetable or beef stock
Grated cheese such as Winchester super-aged Gouda or Parmigiano-Reggiano for garnish
Fleur de sel or other finishing salt
In a wide pot, sauté the onion, celery, sage, and a little salt in the oil over medium heat until the vegetables soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the pumpkin, a little more salt, a few grinds of pepper, and 4 cups of the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially, and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.
Puree the soup with an immersion or stand blender. If the soup is too thick, add the remaining 1 cup stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top each serving with a healthy drizzle of oil and a little cheese, sage and fleur de sel.
Cooks tip: To make this soup with raw squash, use 4 pounds of small winter squash. Slice the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, peel, and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Add the squash to the pot when the onion is tender and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the stock and simmer until the squash is very tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
Adapted from The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm by Amelia Saltsman (Blenheim Press, 2007)
Laura Avery also has an update on HLB, huanglongbing, the bacteria that's affecting the citrus industry in Florida and now in California. Southern San Diego County is now under quarantine. Read the Good Food blog for more information about the citrus virus.
Music break: Upa Neguinho by Rio 65 Trio