Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish


* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 fresh bay leaf
* 2 ribs celery with greens, finely chopped (save time and purchase celery already washed, trimmed and cut into sticks, this makes chopping fast work)
* 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
* Salt and pepper
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning or 2 teaspoons ground thyme
* 2 teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste
* 6 cups chicken stock
* 1 (28-ounce) can cooked pumpkin puree
* 2 cups heavy cream
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


* 1 crisp apple, such as McIntosh or Granny Smith, finely chopped
* 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries, chopped
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 2 teaspoons honey
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Heat a medium soup pot over medium to medium high heat. Add the oil and melt the butter. Add bay, celery, and onion. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Cook 6 or 7 minutes, until tender. Add flour, poultry seasoning and hot sauce, to taste, then cook flour a minute. Whisk in chicken stock and bring liquid to a bubble. Whisk in pumpkin in large spoonfuls to incorporate it into the broth. Simmer soup 10 minutes to thicken a bit then add in cream and nutmeg. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.

While soup cooks, assemble the relish: combine apple, onion, lemon juice, cranberries, chili powder, honey and cinnamon.

Adjust seasonings in soup and relish and serve soup in shallow bowls with a few spoonfuls of relish.

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