Tag Archives: homemade croutons

Roasted Pumpkin Bisque

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Roasted Pumpkin Bisque

Serves 4

This easy, festive soup is a beautiful addition to any holiday meal or served as a warm winter supper over braised hearty greens, with a salad, or a sandwich. Be sure to use fresh ginger as it lends a deep peppery warmth that powdered simply can’t deliver.

One 2-3 lb. sugar pumpkin
2 T. olive oil
1 lg. onion, diced
1 lg. carrot, diced
1 T. fresh ginger peeled and minced
1-2 t. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped (or more to taste)
2 t. salt
4 c. light vegetable stock*
2 t. organic cane sugar or honey
½-1 c. soymilk
¼-½ c. chopped fresh chives
Sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half across the equator (not stem to bottom). Remove the seeds and stringy innards and compost. You can also separate the seeds from the innards, rinse, and dry them, then toss them with a little vegetable oil and a sprinkling of salt, and toast them in the oven for a crunchy, nutritious snack.

Place the pumpkin on a lined baking sheet and roast until tender when poked with a sharp knife, about 40 minutes. When it’s done, remove the pumpkin and set it aside to cool. As soon as the pumpkin can be handled, scoop out the flesh and place it in a bowl, then compost the shell.

Heat the olive oil in 3-4 quart heavy pot. When the oil is warmed and loose, add the onions, carrot, a sprinkle of salt, and the fresh ginger. Sauté until the onions are translucent, and the carrots begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin, rosemary and salt, then stir to combine and continue to sauté the vegetable mixture for about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring the soup to a low boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the sugar.

When the soup has cooled, place in a blender bowl and begin processing. You will probably need to do this in two batches. While blending, begin slowly adding the milk a little at a time. Check the texture, you may not need the entire cup, so do this to your taste. If you’re not using any milk you may use a little water or stock for thinning.

When the soup is whipped and creamy, return it to the pot and stir in the chives, reserving a little for
garnish. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm with toasted fresh croutons.

*If you’re using prepared vegetable stock in cartons or cans, dilute 50/50 with water for a lighter stock.

Fresh Croutons

Fresh croutons are a delicious way to use up day old bread. This recipe is for one medium loaf of bread. Feel free to add or subtract the amount of oil, salt, and herbs to suit your own taste. Sample the croutons as you go along and make them as spicy as you wish.

1/2-1 loaf day old rustic loaf (boule, ciabatta, focaccia or similar)
3-4 T. olive oil
1-2 t. dried oregano
1 t. fine sea salt
1/2 t. sweet paprika
A few grinds of black pepper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bread into one inch cubes and place in a roomy bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the cubes and sprinkle on all the seasonings. Toss, using your hands if necessary, to be sure the cubes are evenly coated. Sample and adjust the recipe as necessary. Lay the croutons in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until golden and toasted. The croutons will continue to crisp up as they cool. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag.