Friday, February 20, 2009

Pumpkin soup with cinnamon creme fraiche

When the holidays roll around, I always buy more canned pumpkin than I actually need. I love to use pumpkin in desserts, but I also look for ways to incorporate pumpkin into savory dishes.

I saw this recipe for pumpkin soup in the Mesa Grill cookbook and thought it would be a great way to use a can of pumpkin. The pumpkin puree is combined with chicken or vegetable stock and seasoned with salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. A dose of chipotle puree contributes some heat, and both honey and maple syrup are added to round out the flavors. The soup can be put together in minutes, and is dressed up with a drizzle of cinnamon creme fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds.

The recipe calls for a fair amount of cinnamon – Mexican canela to be exact. If you can find canela, I would highly recommend using it. I buy canela in bark form and grind it myself. You can make the recipe with other varieties of cinnamon, but it won’t be exactly the same. If you haven't yet converted to grating your own nutmeg, I would encourage you to give it a try. All you need is a whole nutmeg and a microplane. It's slightly more work, but makes a huge difference in flavor.

I liked the addition of toasted pumpkin seeds as a garnish; they added a nice crunch. The next time I make this, I'm going to try topping it with candied pumpkin seeds, I think that would be even better.

On a completely unrelated note, someone gave me 3 pounds of blanched sliced almonds. What should I make with them? Please leave a comment or email me with your ideas.


58 comments:

5 Star Foodie said...

Oh, that looks really good. Love the cinnamon creme fraiche! I'm actually planning to make a dish with almonds this weekend and hope to post a recipe next week.

Elyse said...

I love pumpkin, and this soup looks like a great way to use it! Like you, I'll take it any way I can get it: sweet or savory. YUMMMY! Can't wait to try this.

Barbara Bakes said...

That's the most beautiful soup!

Cheryl said...

I agree that is beautiful and tasty I bet. I use whole nutmeg but have no idea where to get the cinnamom? how about making almond paste or almond flour?

thecleanveggie said...

pumpkin soup sounds so nice and comforting

Reeni♥ said...

I love pumpkin, sweet or savory. This looks really good. I know that we tend to forget about Pumpkin outside of its season, but it is worthy of eating all year around!

Hayley said...

I LOVE your new site!!! And that pumpkin soup looks incredible, thanks for sharing!

Claudia said...

Have bookmarked this for Sunday. And who knows - may even be able to find the special cinnamon in St. Paul.

Almonds ... almond torte ...my mother uses them for a Grand Manier cake ...

Lori said...

I was looking at some pureed pumpkin in my freezer recently~ hmmmmmmmmm. I think I may see this beautiful soup in my near future. I love what you did with the swirls and the seeds.

Bharti said...

That's an easy way to use up canned pumpkin. Love the picture...it look so fancy.

finsmom said...

I have some pumpkin left over from the scones I just made - perhaps I will give this a try! Great recipe!

Laura said...

my friend allie makes this pumpkin pasta, soo good, check her blog out at findinginsperationinfood....thank you for the comment. you can order the cherry morsels online according to my step mom, but allie picked me up a bag at walmart in our town, and i've been milking it to last every idea i can get for them. love your blog!

Sophie said...

That pumpkin soup looks so fabulous! I adore everything made with pumpkin! Th blanched sliced almonds you could use to make a topping for a crumble, when you take flour, butter, just replace a bit of the flour for those almonds. Then you have a more lovely different texture on the top !

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Sara, I'm not familiar with the canela cinnamon but I've been grating my own nutmeg for years. I had a Bounds grater but I've switched to using the microplane because it's easier. You are right it makes all the difference in the world. Now I've got to find the cinnamon. Your soup sounds wonderful. I make a easy pumpkin soup around the holidays.
Enjoy the almonds. They are power food and good for you. Can't wait to see what you do with them. Staying tuned.
Sam

Live.Love.Eat said...

This soup looks too pretty to eat!!!!!

pigpigscorner said...

Looks so pretty! You can process the almonds for macarons!

Natashya said...

Beautiful soup! I have that book, I should give it a try.
What a great gift - Hmmm... brittle, bread, on top of salads, granola...

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Beauiful!
I would love to taste it.

Netts Nook said...

Sara you soups looks like a pro's love the picture. Baklava has lots of almonds.

Culinarywannabe said...

The swirling is so pretty!!

Monica H said...

so pretty!

Elra said...

Nice that you added ginger and nutmeg to this soup, the ginger add zing to it, and the nutmeg give nicely fragrant and distinct flavor. Creme fraiche add a tad of tanginess, perfect Sara!
Have a nice week end.
Elra

Sara said...

Your soup looks great. I am a big fan of cinnamon in savory dishes. (Sweet, too!)

Sara said...

All - thanks for the almond ideas!

Cheryl - my canela came from a mexican spices gift pack that someone gave me, I think it was originally purchased at Sur La Table. Any ethnic markets in your area? You could probably find it at a mexican or latin american market.

Sam - I love my microplane, it's definitely one of my favorite kitchen tools! Canela has a stronger, spicier flavor than regular cinnamon. I wouldn't use it in every recipe that calls for cinnamon, but it works really well here.

Laurie said...

That looks beautiful Sarah! Yum.. :)

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Mm pumpkin soup would be nice for lunch right about now... :)

Donna-FFW said...

My goodness, is that ever pretty Sara! It is a beautiful color, and I love the swirls. Sounds so delicious! I should check this book out of the library.

Cathy said...

Great looking soup!!

Almonds - look on my blog - make the almond crusted pork tenderloin...very good.

Joie de vivre said...

Sara,
I am BLOWN AWAY by your plating! It is fabulous!

As for my humble soup, I must have used country style ribs. They were individual, some had bone on them, some didn't, and they were very meaty. Thanks, as always, for your comments and for visiting. :)

we are never full said...

the photo is excellent - just beautiful, sara. as for the almonds - wow... lots of things. what about a romesco sauce? crust on fish? almond tart - maybe sub the chestnuts for almonds here http://www.weareneverfull.com/chestnut-custard-tart-full-of-christmas-cheer/

there's so much. have a blast and looking foward to see what you do.

Navita said...

Sara that looks lovely.....

as for the almonds...try almond milk or use it in a torte...infact you can try my walnut strawberry torte...just substitute almonds instead of walnuts. hope this helps. :)

http://cooking-up-a-storm-zaayeka.blogspot.com/2009/01/austrian-walnut-strawberry-torte.html

Bridgett said...

That is a gorgeous looking soup and I like the addition of ginger! I can just imagine the taste.

teresa said...

Oh my gosh, how yummy, adn pretty! I've got to try this!

Kevin said...

Great garnish on the soup! It looks really good!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Wow! And it looks absolutely beautiful too! I love pumpkin soup!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Interesting flavor combo! A delightful soup!

You can make marzipan, almond milk, pesto, etc...

Cheers,

Rosa

Karin said...

I know what I would do with the almonds ... homemade almond paste.

On the 24th of February we celebrate Shrove Tuesday eating the traditional Swedish lenten buns. These buns contain almond paste.

I would also use the almonds to make homemade granola ...

...and make almond meal/flour (skinless, blanched almonds finely ground.

Leslie said...

mmm..what a warm and comforting soup!!!
Stunning photo

Maris said...

I've made pumpkin soup before but have never thought about using creme fraiche...what a good idea, though!

Tyler said...

that's alot of almonds! i would toast them and use them in oatmeal, on salads, make some granola, almond pancakes, blueberry almond muffins, dark chocolate almond bark....and eat some by the handful :)

NuKiwi said...

Come by my blog when you can to collect an award I have for you! :o)

Cakelaw said...

Yummo - I adore pumpkin soup, but have never tried to make it myself. I will often order it as a starter at restaurants. For the almonds, some suggestions are: decorate the top of cakes and breads with them, use them as a filling with custard or jam in a danish (you can buy your puff pastry to make it easy!) or make almond cream to use as the filling, or grind them up in a food processor to make almond meal, which you can them use in flourless cakes etc.

DEESHA said...

looks yumm .. a beautiful click

noble pig said...

Absolutely beautiful, the presentation is magazine worthy!

Julie said...

The soup is just beautiful...too pretty to eat. Okay, maybe not :)
I'm not sure about the almonds..almond butter?

Grace said...

what a stunning bowl of soup! very little could be done to improve upon creme fraiche, but you've managed to do it. man, i love cinnamon. :)

Lissaloo said...

Your blog is beautiful! Great pictures and recipes :)

Chef E said...

I want to apologize I see you and think "I need to go catch up on her blogs", but get distracted, and I know that you are as well a wonderful and good cook too!

I brought with me from Texas things such as this cinnamon bark, and use it now and then. I saw pumpkins the other day and will pick one up and make this. A soup I have not visited in a while, so Thanks!

Jennifer said...

This looks lovely, tasty and so wonderful-yummy soup! You look to be very creative and I bet you would do great at the challenge going on at my blog:
http://savorthethyme.blogspot.com

Katie said...

Yum, perfect flavor combination.

Nazarina A said...

A pretty soup!!

I boiled almonds and made an almond milk smoothie! I know you will have lots of fun with almonds once you get started!

The Food Hunter said...

That is the prettiest soup I've ever seen.

Sarah Herman said...

What a beautiful soup! As for almonds, on wednesday I am posting a homemade almond cocoa powder ice cream.

Jaime said...

wow what beautiful plating! love the new look of your blog, too, by the way :)

Aparna said...

This looks very pretty. We use a lot of pumpkin in savoury dishes but I have never tried as soup or pie.
As for the almonds, if you like Indian sweets, there's one called Badam Burfi (Badam is Hindi for Almonds) or there's an Indian drink called Thandai (I will post my version on my blog by the end of the month).
Thanks for dropping by.

Judy said...

The soup looks wonderful. I've made several different kinds of pumpkin soup and have loved all of them. I love almonds. I recently adapted one of Giada's recipes (Nonna's Lemon Ricotta Biscuits) and renamed the recipe to almond ricotta muffins. I used some almond meal in the batter (you can just grind your almonds) and a wonderful almond crumb topping. They are absolutely wonderful! The texture is almost scone-like, and there's an intense almond flavor.
BTW, I have an award for you on my blog.

Tartelette said...

3 pounds of blanched almonds? Oh all the macarons I could bake you with these!!!
The soup sounds absolutely delicious!

asj said...

Hi! I'm new in your site. This soup looks gorgeous, and I love your pictures.

I'll see you again!

kisses from Spain!!

Alejandra