Two Seasonal Soup Recipes - Pumpkin Bisque and White Gazpacho


Union County Farmers Market demonstration recap

When I was working in the cafes on the Honda campus, I made soup every single day.  I’d like to think I got pretty good at it. Not only did I hone my skills, but over the years I came to a greater appreciation for the artform of soup preparation.

I recently performed my fifth and final cooking demonstration for the Union County Farmers Market 2018 season.  The morning was cold and wet - perfect weather for a bowl of hot pumpkin bisque soup! After all, pumpkins are beginning to make their way to the market. Yet, there are still a few cucumbers in the field and cured garlic to be found, and it wouldn’t be unusual to be back in the 80’s by week’s end, and so I also demonstrated the making of a cold gazpacho soup.

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If you’ve ever roasted winter squash - like butternut, acorn, or spaghetti squash - then you have a pretty good idea how to roast fresh pumpkin. The only difference with cooking your own pumpkin is that you may have to chop it down into small hunks in order to get it into the oven. Cooking times depend on the variety; some pumpkins have a very thick flesh which will obviously take longer to cook. Otherwise, this recipe is great with a can of your favorite puree.

Are you interested in a hands-on lesson about building amazing soups?  Makin’ Chowder Soups is my most popular session this time of year - not only because soups are delicious, but because of all the pork products!  Soup, salad, sandwiches, and lots and lots of bacon await you.

Don’t have an immersion blender?  Check out my gear page to find out where you can get this and all the gadgets and tools I use in my kitchen sessions and demonstrations!

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Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Servings: 10 - 12
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total cooking time: 1 hour

2T butter
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced

1 can pumpkin puree or equal amount roasted pumpkin
2 qts broth (chicken or vegetable)
2-3 leaves sage
2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 c heavy cream
1/2 t spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie, etc.)

1/4 c cooking sherry

1) Melt the butter in a medium saucepot over medium high heat and add vegetables. Season and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.
2) Add pumpkin, broth, and herbs. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, about 30 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, combine cream and spices in a small measuring cup and squirt bottle. Set aside until ready to use.
4) Puree soup with immersion blender until smooth. Stir in cooking sherry and reheat. Garnish soup with spiced cream either in the pot or in the individual bowls and serve.

Cold Cucumber Soup Recipe (White Gazpacho)

Servings: 4-6
Preparation time: about 15 minutes

2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 c broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tub sour cream
2 T sherry or sherry vinegar

2 c broth (chicken or vegetable)

2 green onions, slivered (optional)
1/2 c slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
2 T fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

1) Combine first 5 ingredients in a pitcher. Season with salt and blend with immersion blender until smooth.
2) Add the rest of the broth and stir to combine.
3) Garnish and serve.

Food TalkJim KueblerComment