Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Curried Pumpkin Bisque

It got a little sloshed around, but it tasted really good!
Digging through my recipe graveyard for some ideas this week, I found myself wondering if there is anything that could get me really excited and is easy to make.  I, like everyone, find myself in a rut sometimes.  I have a large repertoire of favorite dishes, but even those get dull since I always find myself looking for new flavors, fresh presentation techniques, and a little inspiration.  Fortunately,  I have been really busy with both new and old clients all week and have been finding myself challenged by the clock, if not the food police.

At least the dishes I have made so far this week have turned out, though, it was possibly due to the adrenaline involved in trying to just keep up than my perfect culinary prowess. Sometimes that's the name of the game--when I work, I have to do it quickly, efficiently, and neatly.  The kitchen is always left as I found it and within the correct time frame.  All of the logistics can truly take the soul and the spirit out of the simple act of preparing a dish.  I'm only now warming up for the busy season and being forced to snap to fairly quickly.  Hopefully, something good turns up soon in the recipe graveyard.
Back to the bustle

After long cooking days, I often have to dig through the fridge and freezer later at home trying to scrape up something to eat.  Ironic, isn't it?  Sometimes some of the simplest combinations just work.  Uncommon pairings of leftovers come together to delight my tired palette.  Tonight, my hodge-podge (that's different from Mod Podge) dinner turned out to be seasonal, healthful, ethnic-inspired, and if my memory serves me correctly, local.  Alright!  

Deep in the back of my freezer was last winter's curried pumpkin bisque.  I  got it going on the stove and dug around some more.

Could this be the crunchy and addictive Indian-style pickled red onions with ginger and jalapeno from a few weeks ago?  It was.  I grabbed it along with a little plain yogurt and a few almost-wilted chives, poured a big bowl of the bisque, and topped it with my treasures.  The onions sunk to the bottom and the yogurt melted out of formation into creamy awesomeness on top which balanced out the spicy curry flavors.  The salvaged chives brought the deep flavors up with a bit of green crunch.   It was so satisfying and flavorful and completely something I could pull off as a first course at a client's dinner party if I was so inclined.  Dinner problem solved, for tonight at least.

Tomorrow I may have to actually head to the market.

By popular demand, here is a pumpkin soup recipe just in time for another beautiful September weekend!  I have a few pumpkin and squash soup recipes, but this is my favorite one by far.  Make a double batch and freeze some.  After all, that is how I found some in my freezer today.

Curried Pumpkin Bisque

1  3 lb pumpkin
1 1 lb sweet potato/jewel yam
Olive oil

1 lg yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 apple, cored
3-4 Tablespoons Coconut oil
2 Tablespoons Garam masala
2 teaspoons Ground ginger
1 teaspoon Ground cumin
1 teaspoon Curry powder
2 teaspoons Sea salt
Black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 can coconut milk
3-4 cups vegetable stock

Dash of honey
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Halve pumpkin vertically, cutting carefully with a sharp knife and scoop out seeds and goo.  Rub open side lightly with olive oil and place open side down on baking sheet.

Wash sweet potato and place next to squash to bake.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until pumpkin and sweet potato are very soft.  Flip squash over and slice open sweet potato to cool.

In a large pot, cook onion and apple in a little coconut oil, until translucent.  Add spices/seasonings.  Cook 7-8 minutes more. 

When cool enough to handle, scoop out squash and sweet potato into soup pot. 

Add coconut milk and stock.  Cook about 15 minutes until flavors blend. 

Puree in batches and season with salt, pepper, and honey to taste.  Finish with about 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice.

No comments: