Cristeta Comerford, the executive chef at the White House, shares her top-secret recipe that'll keep you warm on a cool fall day. This soup is one of First Lady Laura Bush's all-time favorites!
Ingredients 1 1/2 pounds pumpkin (3 cups)1 Vidalia onion , chopped1 cup carrots , peeled and diced1 cup celery , diced1 tablespoon olive oil6 cloves garlic , chopped2 bay leaves1 tablespoon peppercornSalt and pepper to taste1 sprig thyme4 cups chicken stock2 sticks cinnamon1 1/2 teaspoons espelette powder or paprika1 cup low-fat yogurtPumpkin oil
- 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of espelette powder
To make the soup: Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the pumpkin in half and place it, cut side down, on an oiled baking sheet. Bake until it is easily pierced with a knife (about 45 minutes). Let cool. Scoop the flesh and discard the skin and seeds. Press the pumpkin flesh through a strainer. Warm the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Sweat the carrots, onion, garlic until translucent for about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the dry spices and the aromatics. Add the pumpkin puree and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add entire mixture into a blender and blend. (You could also strain through a fine mesh.) Season. Put back in a pot to gently simmer. Finish with yogurt and adjust the seasonings. Serve in a warmed bowl. Garnish with candied pepitas (see recipe below) and a swirl of pumpkin oil.
To make the candied pepitas: Toast pepitas in a preheated nonstick pan. Add enough powdered sugar to coat the pepitas. Add salt and espelette powder. Stir until sugar dissolves—pumpkin seeds will pop. Remove from heat and let cool.
Published on January 01, 2006