It doesn't look edible, does it?
Well, looks can be deceiving. When we cut into this Brode Galeux D'Eysines pumpkin, the kiddo's first remark was, "It smells like a peach!" And it did, the squash flesh was a yellow-orange with a fruity aroma somewhere between peach, hazelnut and that characteristic winter squash earthiness.
Once the soup was prepared, I didn't have any trouble getting the kid or vegephobe adults at the table to dig in with a wedge of Rosemary Olive Oil bread for a spoon.
All goes to show, never judge a vegetable by its rind. You can learn more about this and other exotic heirloom squashes here at rareseeds.com. Or, you can just go to your farmers market and explore. I highly recommend the exploration approach.
French Heirloom Pumpkin Soup
1 5-6 lb. pumpkin (Galeux D'Eyesines, Rouge Vif D'Etampes, or Musquee de Provence)
2 tbs. olive oil
2 leeks, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
3 sprigs thyme, chopped
1 tbs. chopped sage
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
8 cups chicken broth
3 tbs. butter
1/3 cup half and half
1 tbs. sugar, optional
salt and pepper to taste
First, get a sharp knife. Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds. Cut the halves into manageable chunks, then cut away the outer rind. Dice the flesh into 1-inch cubes. It's really not so hard if you have a good chef's knife.
Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot, medium heat. Add the leeks, onion and herbs and sweat the aromatics until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin cubes and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 20-30 minutes.
Puree using an immersion blender. Swirl in the butter and the half and half. Add the nutmeg, then taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Use the sugar if you like a slight sweetness to your soups.
It's pumpkin season! One of my favorite times of the year as I have this slight odd habit of collecting pumpkins. If you are looking for information on pumpkins, these posts will be a great source of tips, recipes and descriptions.