This recipe makes use of "cheese pumpkin," an heirloom squash found in the North East, if you can't find one, use calabaza or another assertive winter squash. The recipe screams autumn...pumpkin, rutabaga, apples, walnuts and the last of the fresh sage and thyme. Used dried herbs if fresh are not available, halve the amount called for in the recipe and correct to your personal taste. —Ann Goldman
For the soup
4-5lb cheese pumpkin, calabaza or other assertive winter squash.
1- 1.5 lb rutabaga
medium onions (about 12 oz total)
tart apples (medium size)
1- 2 cups
water as needed to thin soup to desired consistency
chopped fresh sage (or half the amount of dried sage)
Split the pumpkin, scoop out seeds and cut into thick slices. Spray with spray oil.
Peel and dice the onions, rutabaga and apples .
Dice the sage leaves and set aside.
On a medium hot grill roast the pumpkin slices. Turn frequently to avoid burning. Remove from heat when they are easily pierced by a fork. Scrape the fruit off of the rind. NOTE: you can make a satisfactory soup by roasting the pumpkin slices in your oven (350 degrees for about 40 minutes) , but you won't get the slightly smokey taste that comes from grilling.
Saute the remaining vegetables over medium heat. The rutabaga must be cooked enough to be easily pierced by a fork.
Pour the vegetable stock and one cup of water into a large stock pot. Add the all of the vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the herbs and spices. Hold back on salt and pepper until the end of the cooking process. Simmer for 5 minutes more.
Allow the soup to cool a bit. Puree with a stick blender or by transferring small batches to a blender. Be careful not to work with soup that is too hot if you are using a blender.
Add additional water if needed to bring to a desired consistency.
To make the caramelized walnut garnish: add the water, vinegar, oil in a frying pan and mix well.
Add the nuts and stir until well blended. The mixture will bubble. Continue to cook for a few minutes until the nuts brown a bit. Be careful not to burn the mixture.
To serve: ladle the soup into a bowl, top with a dollop of sour cream (or vegan sour cream substitute) and sprinkle a small amount of caramelized walnuts on top.
This soup can be served hot or at room temperature. Enjoy!!!