In these cooler autumn days, a wonderfully warming pumpkin soup is just the right thing to enjoy.
When is pumpkin season?
At the moment, that’s from September to November, the pumpkins are back in season, these beautiful, colorful autumn vegetables with their nutty, warm aroma. Botanically they are fruits. There are many different varieties, in different sizes and colors. Most are from yellow-orange to red. They are also available in white, blue-green to brown. They always remind me of autumn forests. Ornamental gourds are not edible but usually have beautiful drawings and are used as decoration.
Once harvested, you can store them in a dry, cool place for several months. Once cut it is better to cook the pumpkin. You can also preserve them cut into pieces or pureed, deep frozen and then later process them into casseroles or soups.
Whole festivities are dedicated to the pumpkin
I know several pumpkin festivals in Ticino/Switzerland. One is the “festa della zucca” link of the Steiner School / Minusio, which takes place every year in October and comprehends a market, lunch, games and entertainment. This year (2018) it is on the 14th of October.
Another is in Castel San Pietro, a village in the Muggio Valley, which devotes a whole weekend to pumpkins, with lunch based on pumpkin, various pumpkin activities and, of course a market where you can buy pumpkins and products you need to cook them. For example, spices ?
The festival is called “sagra della zucca” and takes place on the last weekend of October.
Ther’s also a large pumpkin market in the Blenio Valley in October.
Not all varieties are suitable for soups
Many varieties are suitable for soups, but not all of them. I especially like the Butternut squash and the Hokkaido. You can peel the Butternut and the Hokkaido with the vegetable peeler but to peel larger pumpkins the knife works better. Hokkaido can also be eaten with the skin, but I don’t like it, so I peel it anyways.
Pumpkin soup is perfect to make a large amount and warm up any leftovers : warmed up, it tastes even better
Here’s my recipe for a quick and spiced pumpkin soup
Pumpkin soup: (for 4 servings)
- 1 kg pumpkin without skin and seeds, cut into piece
- 1 ½ lt of water
- 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 4 cm of cinnamon stick or ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- circa 2 cm of fresh ginger, cut into small pieces
- 1 tsp turmeric, ground
- 1 tsp of mild curry
- ½ tsp allspice, ground
- Cayenne powder at will
- Pepper at will
- Salt at will
- 200 g crème fraîche
- 1 dl of whipped cream and a pinch of nutmeg to decorate
Boil everything together (except crème fraîche) until soft (it’s quickest in a pressure cooker)
Allow to cool slightly
Remove the cinnamon stick and then puree with the crème fraîche in the cutter or with the blender.
Warm up and decorate with a dab of cream and a pinch of nutmeg
Do you love curry dishes? Next time there will be a version from Sri Lanka.