Pumpkin soup thick, creamy

  • By HOWIE RUMBERG Associated Press
  • Tuesday, October 30, 2007 6:48pm
  • Life

NEW YORK — Co-opted by a holiday, the pumpkin has gotten a bad rep — it’s not just for jack-o-lanterns. Depending on the variety, it’s a very tasty member of the squash family, most commonly used for pies on Thanksgiving. Its meat can be used in many of the same ways as squashes such as acorn or butternut.

Christian Albin, chef of The Four Seasons, prefers to use the green-skinned calabaza and kabocha pumpkins, whose meat is more tender and sweet.

4 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic

1 celery rib

1 medium-sized onion, chopped

1 leek, white part only, chopped

2 2 1/2 pound calabaza pumpkins, or 1 calabaza and 1 kabocha pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch chunks

1 quart chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

Kosher salt to taste

Freshly ground white pepper to taste

6 tablespoons creme fraiche

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic, celery, onion and leek. On medium heat, saute for about 5 minutes or until vegetables turn golden. Add the pumpkin and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the vegetables into a bowl, reserving both the vegetables and liquid. In a food processor or blender, puree the vegetables. Add enough of the liquid to the puree to make 5 cups. Return the puree to the saucepan, add the cream and stir over medium heat until almost boiling. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in hollowed pumpkins or acorn squashes, or a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of creme fraiche to each portion of soup. Do not stir in.

Makes 6 servings.

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