Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Soups!

Last week, I was invited to the home of Rick and Cher Ulrich for an early Thanksgiving dinner. Cher is the newest member of the painting co-op at For Art’sake. Also invited were my studio mates, David Gross and Claud Davis and his wife, Jacquie.

They started the beautiful dinner with a wonderful Pumpkin Soup. Now, I have been a big fan of pumpkin soups for years. I fell in love with curried pumpkin soup many years ago, but the Ulrich’s Pumpkin Soup has become my new favorite…..why? Maple Syrup, that’s why!

First, I will share my Curried Pumpkin Soup with you, followed by the Ulrich Pumpkin Soup and then Paula Deen’s Creamy Sweet Potato Soup, just because it is good and also uses Maple Syrup. I will end this creamy orange soup extravaganza with a Squash and Pear Soup recipe.

I know I have mentioned previously how I fell in love with Curried Pumpkin Soup while enjoying King Ludvig’s Castle and a bottle of German Riesling wine. I have tried several recipes and really like this simple version. Hope you agree.

King Ludvig’s Curried Pumpkin Soup

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons curry powder
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
1 cup half-and-half cream
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon white sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in flour and curry powder until smooth. Cook, stirring, until mixture begins to bubble. Gradually whisk in broth, and cook until thickened. Stir in pumpkin and half-and-half. Season with soy sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring just to a boil, then remove from heat. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds.

Ulrich’s Gingered Pumpkin Soup with Maple Syrup

2 15 oz cans pumpkin
2 14 oz cans chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup real maple syrup
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger or ½ teaspoon ground ginger

In a saucepan, over medium heat, stir the pumpkin, broth, cream, maple syrup and ginger. Bring soup just to boiling. Season with salt and pepper.

Next is Paula Deen’s recipe for her Creamy Sweet Potato Soup. Paula is an “Ambassador” for Smithfield Foods. This is one of the recipes from their blog.

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup by Paula Deen

Serves: 6

 1/2 cup butter
 1 small onion, finely diced
 1 cup celery, finely diced
 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
 3 cups chicken stock
 1 cup heavy cream
 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
 Salt and pepper to taste

 For Garnish:
 4 slices Smithfield Bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
 Maple syrup to drizzle
1 scallion, finely diced

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onion and celery and saute until fully cooked and tender. Add the potatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium, cover and cook for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender. Puree the contents of the saucepan in a blender (in small batches). Return to saucepan and stir in the cream and pumkin pie spice. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Heat to desired temperature.

Sprinkle soup with crumbled bacon, a drizzle of maple syrup and a pinch of scallion.

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

4 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, diced
1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 pears, peeled and chopped into roughly 1-inch pieces
1-quart low sodium chicken stock, or enough to cover
1 sprig rosemary
Heavy cream
Salt, freshly ground black pepper and granulated sugar

In a 4-quart saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat, and add and sweat the onions. Add squash and pears and sweat those too a bit. Pour in the stock, enough to submerge solids. Add sprig of rosemary and bring to a simmer and cook until squash is fork tender about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove rosemary. Puree with immersion blender. Add a touch of cream and season to taste.

Somehow, I think all of these soups would be perfect if I were sitting at the Inn at Herrenchiemsee, King Ludvig’s second castle. It is located in the middle of Chiemsee Lake on Herren Island. After the tour of the extravagant castle, the Inn was cozy, warm and inviting. I had a very good time there!

If you would be interested in reading my account of my 2001 trip to Europe, scan down here to search my blog. Type in “Two Old Broads Abroad” and it should take you back to Sunday, January 18, 2009 for the first installment.

Or, you can get there by going to : http://thereisakansaninthekitchen.blogspot.com/2009/01/two-old-broads-abroad-part-3-highways.html

Hope you enjoy it, and the soups!

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