Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pumpkin, Carrot, and Apple Soup

'Tis time!  'Tis time!  'Tis the season for Finals.  Yuck.  No, really, it's that time of the quarter again.  I've been super-swamped with maintaining my A's and gearing up for my finals this week on Wednesday and Thursday.  And after?  FOUR glorious weeks of winter vacation.  Ah, I'm so excited!  Actually, I think what I'm most excited about is taking a break from driving to Los Angeles practically every week day.  I cannot believe that 10 weeks has already whizzed on by.  Craziness!

Anyway, I've got a lovely soup to share with you!  I'm currently one of the writers for our Student Dietetic Assocation newsletter and had the idea to share a healthy recipe.  I was in a holiday mood so I suggested pumpkin soup.  Then, the creative juices started flowing in the kitchen :-)

I was originally going to do straight pumpkin but really, that's sort of aburrido, you know?  Looking around my kitchen, I found Granny Smith apples and carrots and well, we know that's a good combination!  So, I combined those with pure pumpkin puree and developed a winner of a soup.  I even brought it to a holiday baking party that I attended and was so jazzed that those who tried it enjoy it!

As always, it's super easy to make.  I received an early Christmas present from my mom and now have my very first Dutch oven.  Ah, I was a happy girl that day!  Where has it been all of these cooking years of mine?!?  It works so beautifully and looks it, too.  Anyway, it's a simple recipe of cooking everything together in the pot and then blending it all up either using a stick blender or a regular blender.  A Ninja or a Vitamix would work well, too.  In fact, I think you could even get away with a food processor.  

I made mine entirely smooth but you can leave some chunks if that's what you desire.  It's a gorgeous, savory soup with the nice balance of sweet pumpkin and carrots balanced out by the tart Granny Smith apples.  I would not mind trying this recipe with a sweeter type of apple to see how it would turn out.  The fresh sage also adds a wonderful hidden "hmm" factor.  To add to that, the white pepper does, as well.  It's subtle and makes your taste buds dance in a fun but confused way because they don't know what's making them do that. 

Give it a try!  I used canned pumpkin but you can definitely roast a sugar pumpkin if you'd like!  I'd imagine that the flavor of the soup would be a touch deeper due to the roasting.  Man, I love roasting vegetables.  You concentrate all that flavor.... mmm!  The kicker?  It's a very healthy soup!  And perfect for a chilly day.  Believe it or not, we've actually been experiencing cold weather in Southern California as of late!

The Chef Doc

Pumpkin, Carrot, and Apple Soup

  • 2 15-ounce cans of pure pumpkin or four cups of roasted pumpkin*
  • 2 apples, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup half and half
*To make roasted pumpkin:
  • Preheat oven to 375F.  Take the seeds and stringy fibers out of a small sugar pumpkin.  Slice it into wedges.  Place onto a lined baking sheet (parchment paper or aluminum foil).  Drizzle with olive oil and bake until the pumpkin is fork tender, about 45 to 60 minutes.  Remove from oven and when pumpkin is cool enough, remove the roasted pulp for your soup.   Discard the skins.  
1. Add olive oil and butter to a large pot on medium-high heat.  When butter is melted, add the apples, carrots, onions, and salt.  Sauté until carrots are half-softened and then add the chopped garlic.  

2. Next, add the pumpkin puree and let that get to temperature.  Then, add the chicken or vegetable broth and then the ground white pepper and chopped sage.

3. Cook for another 10 minutes on a low heat, turn it off, and let cool for about 10 minutes.

4. After the soup mix has cooled, slowly puree it in batches using whatever instrument you prefer: immersion blender, blender, food processor, Ninja, or Vitamix.  Blend until smooth and return to pot.  

5. Turn the heat on medium and then stir in your half and half.  Bring the soup to a simmer and you're done!

6. Serve while hot.  If desired, garnish with chive croutons and chopped chives for extra flavor and texture. 

Chive Croutons
  • Four cups of diced bread (stale slices are easier to cut up)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Large pinch of Kosher salt
  • Large pinch of ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper of aluminum foil.

2. In a small saucepan, melt together your butter and oil.  Place all of your diced bread into a large mixing bowl.  

3.  Add the melted butter and oil to the bread as well as the salt, chives, and black pepper.  Stir everything around to make sure all the bread cubes are well-coated.  

4. Pour bread cubes onto baking sheet and spread into single layer.  Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden and crispy.  

5. Serve immediately.  After complete cooling, store any extra croutons in an airtight container.  

I love the aroma of sage!
Trying to keep it on the healthy side, I added very little half and half.  However, I found it necessary because it absolutely changes the mouth feel to a luscious, velvety one.  Believe it or not, fat globules do make things feel smoother.  Damn you, fat!
Before baking. 
After baking.  Oh yeah :-)
Buen provecho!

1 comment:

  1. wow! what a uniquely flavored soup. i haven't had a soup with apples but i am curious to see how it tastes....