Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jack McDavid's Pumpkin Soup

Jack cutting a cheese pumpkin for his soup.
Jack says:  "Fall is the best time of year for food.  Flavors are fuller, dishes are hearty and more textured, and the seasonal produce is fantastic.  Think about how animals hibernate--people do similar things with food.  We crave heartier fare as the weather turns cold."   We caught up with Jack long enough for him to demonstrate his justifiably famous pumpkin soup--which is remarkably robust and substantial considering that it is strictly vegan and devoid of fat.  Not the type of food that we normally associate with Jack, he of Down Home Diner and Jack's Firehouse fame, but this soup did him proud.  He sourced all the necessary ingredients from his friends at Reading Terminal Market and they'll be happy to help you find everything you need for this quintessentially autumnal dish.

Pumpkin Soup

3 lbs Green Pumpkin (or "sweet" pumpkin), peeled, seeded, and cut in half [Note:  butternut squash, acorn squash, or cheese pumpkin may be substituted]
3 cups vegetable stock
1 onion, chopped
1/2  cup shitake mushrooms
1 banana
options: 1 TBSP brown sugar and 2 TBSP butter for a sweeter kid friendly version OR chipotle powder for a spicy version
maple spiced pecans for garnish

Heat oven to 350.  Roast pumpkin chunks on rimmed baking sheet for 30 minutes.  Cool.  Bring vegetable stock to boil in large soup pot and add onion, mushrooms, and banana.  Boil 5 minutes.
Add roasted pumpkin and puree with an immersion blender til smooth.
FOR KIDS:  add 1 TBSP brown sugar and 2 TBSP butter.  FOR SPICE LOVERS:  add chipotle powder to taste.

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