Sweet and Smoky Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.
1 small pumpkin – peeled, deseeded, and cubed (use 6 cups of pumpkin cubes)
2 tbsp butter – softened (omit for dairy-free version)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 bay leaves
1 yellow onion – chopped roughly
3-4 garlic cloves – crushed
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth (add cold to blender)
1 tsp of ground ancho chili pepper
Salt to taste
Toasted pecans (optional) – crushed
Slice pumpkin in half and remove seeds and pulp. Then peel pumpkin (I find it easiest to cut pumpkin into 1-inch wide slices first, then peel skin with a sharp knife), and chop into cubes. Place pumpkin, along with onion and garlic, into a metal bowl.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Mix butter, olive oil, and maple syrup in a small bowl. Then pour over pumpkin cubes and mix well. Place the pumpkin cubes flat on a baking pan – use a plastic spatula to ensure all the liquid is transferred from the bowl to the pan. Tear the bay leaves into 4 pieces each and place between pumpkin cubes. Put baking pan into oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until pumpkin cubes are softened.
Add cold chicken broth to blender. Then add in the cooked pumpkin – again using a plastic spatula to ensure all the liquid is transferred. Blend to desired consistency, and transfer to a pot on the stove.
Heat soup to a simmer, and stir in ground ancho chili pepper, black pepper, and salt (and crushed pecans, if using). When thickened to desired texture, serve hot with a side of French bread.
-The majority of pumpkin soup recipes include milk or heavy cream, but I find the milky taste can overpower the flavor of the pumpkin, and isn’t really needed anyway since the blended pumpkin already provides a nice creamy texture. If you do want a slightly richer taste, I recommend stirring in 1 or 2 more tablespoons of butter during the simmering process.
-To speed the process up, you can skip the roasting step, and instead cook the pumpkin on the stove.
-Save the pumpkin seeds for roasting into a delicious fall snack. From blog.seasonwithspice.com