Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin bisque

Bisque-y Business, y'all!

Oh, that's right, I'm not above corny titles that reference 1980s movies. You thought I was? You thought wrong, my friend :)

This recipe came from a surprising source -- the Market District Giant Eagle in Shadyside. Take it from me that you should always do your grocery shopping on Saturdays or Sundays between 11am and 4pm. Samples are everywhere!

I tasted this pumpkin bisque at the beginning of my shopping trip and was still thinking/talking about it an hour later and even weeks later until I was able to make it. Before I begin, I must say that this is the quickest and EASIEST soup I've ever made or seen in a recipe.

GE suggested serving with sour cream. I opted for crusty (pumpernickel) bread for dipping. The soup is very hearty and filling, perfect dinner on a cold night or late afternoon lunch. It's not overwhelmingly pumpkin-flavored, so I will definitely be making this a few times throughout the fall and winter months. And it's just so darn pretty to look at!

Pumpkin Bisque
(serves 8)

4 Tbsp butter
3 leeks, cleaned and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
1/4 tsp ground gloves
1 28-oz can of pumpkin
1/2 cup white wine
6 cups vegetable stock (I used 4 c veggie stock, 2 c chicken stock due to available containers at the grocery store)
1 pint heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste

A quick tip for cleaning leeks -- rinse, cut in half and chop. Fill a bowl with cold water and put the chopped leeks in and let soak for a few minutes. Any residual sand or grit will sink to the bottom. Easy!

Heat butter in a large pot and add leeks, garlic and thyme. Sweat for 10 minutes. Add cloves and canned pumpkin, and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the half cup of white wine to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes until the wine is almost evaporated. Add stocks and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove pot from heat and blend with a hand blender while adding heavy cream slowly. (If you are using a standard blender, add soup a cup at a time and be careful to let steam from the hot mixture escape between blending pulses.) Blend until desired texture is reached (that's up to you, cook!). Place soup back in pot and on stove to summer for an additional 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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