Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pumpkin Chowder

I have a tendency to bookmark recipes that look good, buy all the ingredients, then realize the recipe is kinda funny. This one looked weird to me. You cook half the ingredients on low, then have huge 1" chunks of potato and pumpkin. I don't know about you, but I don't think I want to bite into a hunk of half-cooked pumpkin while eating soup. Their instructions looked funny and they didn't add the stuff listed. So I modified the cooking instructions drastically to actually use all the ingredients and adjust the texture of the soup. Just as an aside, that pumpkin was Fort Knox. I had to call the boyfriend over to get into it. Even then, it had guards that wouldn't give up the goods. After a good half hour of struggling with it, I didn't care if I had enough pumpkin. It would have to do.

It turned out pretty well. We enjoyed it, but it benefited from some chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika. Next time, I would add more bacon- I snacked on it- and some heat. Maybe a chili or some hot sauce. The soup is milky enough to benefit from the heat and tone it down if you added too much. And, I hate to say it, but it might have been better with chunks of... something else. I refuse to say onion. I think a few fresh chives thrown in at the end would be good. Otherwise, good soup.

Pumpkin Chowder
modified from this

1/2 c bacon, diced
2 c onion, chopped
1 lb pumpkin, chopped
4 c chicken stock
2 large potatoes, chopped bite-size
2 tsp curry powder
2 T flour
1 c milk or half'n'half

1. Fry bacon in soup pot. Cook until crispy, then transfer bacon to paper towels. Add diced onion to fat. Cook until soft.

2. In separate pot, start boiling potatoes until almost soft- they'll finish softening later.

3. Add pumpkin chunks to pot, stir mixture. Smell. Enjoy the heady scent of bacon and sweet pumpkin and onions. Add stock and bring to a boil. Cook until pumpkin is soft- about 10 minutes.

4. Add curry to soup pot. In measuring cup, mix flour with some of the hot soup broth to form a liquidy paste. Whisk into the pot.

5. Add soup pot contents to blender and puree in batches. Put back in pot.

6. Strain potatoes, add them and bacon to soup pot. Bring back to a quick boil then set aside. Cook mixture until warm, then whisk in milk.

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