Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pumpkin and Pear Bisque

OK people, I got lucky. I was having just one of those weeks. Nothing was going my way. Work is challenging at the moment, I’m not ready for Christmas, the lights aren’t up yet and our Christmas tree isn’t straight (why we didn’t see that when picking out the tree is beyond me). But hey, all isn’t lost. With the economy slumping, I can always turn on CNN to see that others have worse problems. Plus, I got lucky. I did one of those “lets-just-rummage-through-the-kitchen-to-see-what-I-can-come-up-with” tricks. Some of the greatest recipe creations have come from this method; things like the famous peanut butter and banana sandwich come to mind. Now while I like to think I have an eclectic pantry, I really was a lot lower on supplies than usual. I guess last time I was at Publix, I only grabbed what I needed in the moment. So here’s how the recipe process began and how I got lucky:

“Well… OK… what do I have? Oohhh, I have that pumpkin puree in the freezer. Well, I’ve been meaning to use that for something. We’ll start with that. A soup!!! A pumpkin soup!!! That sounds a bit yummy. I could probably make a bisque. Excellent. First I’ll sauté some onions and garlic then I’ll… wait…hmmmm… What’s that over there? Why its those 2 pears I bought to eat with some blue cheese (if you have not eaten sliced pears with blue cheese, you are missing a corner of heaven). I’ve never put pears in soup before... I wonder how that would taste. I guess we’ll find out!!”

And what we were left with was pretty darned good. I ate several helpings of this over the next couple of hours and it left a warming feeling throughout. I used a few chili flakes for a bit of heat and the touch was successful. This is the definition of comfort food. AND WITH PEARS!! I will be adding this accidental find to this years Christmas dinner. You should think about it.

OK try this:

Pumpkin and Pear Bisque

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 tbsp salt
Pepper to taste
1 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
1 tsp cumin
2 cups pumpkin puree (I would think a can or can and a half prepared pumpkin would be OK too.)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 medium or large pears (seeded and chopped, peeled or unpeeled –doesn’t matter)
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp Fresh grated nutmeg
Avocado slices and cilantro (or mint) for garnish
Drizzle of olive oil atop each serving.

In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat then add the onion and garlic salt and pepper. Sauté until translucent but not brown. About 4-5 minutes. Add chili flakes and cumin and stir in. Cook just another minute. Next add pumpkin, broth and pears. Bring to a slight boil then reduce heat to cook down and reduce the liquid a bit; maybe 15-20 minutes. A bisque consistency is what we are looking for. Broth can be added if too think or longer cooking time if too thin. When just about right, add cream and nutmeg and cook another 5 minutes. Check foe seasoning here and add salt and pepper as needed. If you are one of those cool gadgety folks that have an immersion blender, I would use that here. I worked in batches in my food processor to get a nice creamy consistency. You could do the same in smaller batches in a regular blender too. Place back in pot.

To serve, place in a bowl and lay a few slices of avocado atop along with a sprig of cilantro or mint. A few drops of olive oil will look beautiful and enhance your flavor.

Serves 8.

1 comment:

SteamyKitchen said...

yummmm that soup sounds soooo good!