Yid.Dish: Crema di Zucca (Pumpkin Soup)
Here is part 2 of Chef Laura’s Italian Rosh Hashanah menu. Part one – an apple cake with apple cider honey zabaglione. Yes, yes, we’re featuring two soup recipes in a row on The Jew & The Carrot – but what is fall without an abundance of warm, creamy soups?!
Autumn in Tuscany looks a lot like the neighborhood pumpkin patch I remember visiting when I was a kid – with pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and colors piled high. This versatile vegetable stores well for winter, is easily canned and is frequently featured in savory dishes. And this luxuriously textured soup is a perfect example of cucina povera, which is the practice of using what is readily available and seasonal.
Crema di Zucca
Extra Virgin olive oil
7 cups plus 1-cup vegetable stock (See recipe, page)
1 oz. dried Porcini mushrooms
1 7 pound pumpkin, about 5 cups peeled and diced pumpkin (look for Sugar Pumpkin) or 3 cups canned pumpkin puree
12 Cipollini onions, peeled and cut in quarters
1 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1 medium head Savoy cabbage, very thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Toasted pumpkin seeds and Amaretti crumbs for garnish
1) Place the one cup of vegetable stock in a small saucepan with the dried porcini mushrooms. Bring to simmer. Turn off the heat and set aside.
2) Brown the diced pumpkin if using in batches in a large sauté pan lightly coated with olive oil. Be sure to season each batch with salt and pepper. Transfer the pumpkin to a stock pot.
3) Brown the cipollini onions in the same pan adding more olive oil if necessary until they are completely browned. Transfer the onions to the stock pot.
4) Add the stock, porcini mushrooms, soaking liquid and nutmeg to the stock pot. Cover and cook on low heat until the pumpkin is very soft. Puree the pumpkin in batches or with an immersion blender adding more liquid if necessary.
5) Add the cabbage and simmer for 30 minutes. Adjust the seasoning. Garnish with amaretti crumbs right before serving.