Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Winter Warmth, Part II
A very heartwarming event today, of course, may demand a more celebratory meal, so the soup recipe I promised you might not be your choice for today.
But when I get home from work tonight, after a good workout at my Pilates class, I'll be coming in from more fog and temperatures below freezing, a nasty, bone-chilling damp combination, and I'll be glad of a steaming bowl of spicy goodness -- and the bright colour of pumpkin doesn't hurt either. I'll settle down in front of the TV with it and catch up on all the historic events of the day, nourished by hope and soup.
This soup needs only a few simple ingredients: besides the obvious pumpkin (I used an Amber Cup, which is a small-ish, sweet pumpkin -- nummy AND easy to manage), you'll need butter, an onion, masala/good curry powder, stock (beef, chicken, or vegetarian -- your preference) and buttermilk. I had cut the pumpkin into chunks the day before and baked it 'til it was soft -- then it was easy to take the skin off.
I started by sautéing (at low to medium heat) one medium onion, chopped, in a tablespoon or so of butter (you'll want to balance health with flavour here). As it becomes translucent, work in a tablespoon of the masala/curry powder -- adjust depending how spicy you like it. Sauté the masala-onion mix for about a minute to bring out the full flavours of the spice, and then add about two cups of stock and the pumpkin, which you should have cut into smaller pieces. Bring to a slow boil, then turn heat down to maintain the soup at a simmer for about fifteen minutes. Now you should be able to mash the pumpkin easily with a potato masher (or if you want to get all technology on me, break out your food processor or blender).
All that's left now is to adjust the seasoning (altho' this is a sad stage to add more masala -- I think it really benefits from being sautéed with the onions), and add a cup or two of the buttermilk, again according to taste.
Consider serving with a good dollop of chutney on top and some fragrant naan bread if you're lucky enough to have a handy source. Otherwise some crusty white bread will do quite nicely, thank you very much.
Again, let me know if you make this and how you improved on it -- And enjoy watching today's historic event in Washington -- those projected four million (!!) people watching there will be warm despite what winter's trying to throw at them.