Author Notes: "Single" because of its singular simplicity. One of every soup-friendly ingredients mingles in this velvety autumn minestra. - Cassie Jones
Food52 Review: I hoped for a pumpkin soup that wouldn't end up being run-of-the-mill: success! Cassie's soup is delightful: easy to make, full of fresh ingredients, and hearty enough for a stand-alone meal. The potato adds a velvety richness that balances the slight spiciness of the fennel, and the sage is the perfect final seasoning. Since a single-pound pumpkin is nearly impossible to find, I roasted a larger one and used half. Additionally, I substituted vegetable broth for water and served the soup with crumbled goat cheese, which added a touch more creaminess. Definitely a new addition to our fall soup rotation. - kitchen_ninja
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 pound whole pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 stalk of celery
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 pink shallot
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1 large potato (baking size)
- 1 quart water (or stock)
- 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon fresh sage (about 4 to 6 leaves)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 dash pepper
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional, for garnish)
- Crusty bread, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut off the top and bottom off of your pumpkin. Halve and remove seeds. Place the pumpkin halves cut-side down onto a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil. Bake for 45 minutes or 1 hour, or until very tender when pierced with a fork. Let cool.
- Prepare fennel by removing greens and stem base and outer layers if they are bruised. Roughly chop and place in a bowl of cool water. Agitate the fennel and make sure any dirt hiding inside the layers of the fennel has been washed away. Rinse and strain.
- Heat olive oil over medium-low in a pot large enough for your entire batch of soup. Add fennel, salt, and pepper.
- Roughly chop onion, shallot, garlic, celery, potato, and carrot. Add all of it to the pot. Sautée until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Scoop the pumpkin from out of its skin, with a spoon. Add to the pot. Immediately add the water, freshly grated nutmeg, and bay leaf.
- Bring soup to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to a slow simmer. Allow to cook until the potato smashes easily against the side of the pot with a spoon, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Puree the soup with an upright or stick blender. Return to low heat. Taste, then add water, salt, or pepper if needed.
- Remove the small stems at the bases of the leaves of sage. Using a chef's knife or mezzaluna, finely mince the sage into small pieces, smaller than 1 millimeter. For a finer texture, use a mortar and pestle and grind the sage. Add the fine sage to the soup. Stir and let soup set for 15 minutes over very low heat.
- Serve the soup warm. If you'd like, top the soup with a good amount of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve with a good crusty bread.
- This soup is wonderful if made ahead, and tastes even better as the next day's leftovers!