Sunday, November 21, 2010

Punkin Soup

Last weekend, the Jobies had a soup and salad lunch.  Of course, I volunteered to bring some soup.  I originally planned on bringing a clam chowder or something like that, but then I figured that I should at least try to make something Paleo.  One of the teachers I work with mentioned that her mother in law always made pumpkin soup on the weekends.  I figured that with Thanksgiving coming up, it may be a good idea to try.  I usually don't like soups that are pumpkiny or squashy (butternut squash) but I found a recipe that had a lot of great reviews.  Also, if I didn't like it, I could always give it away! Hey, I wasn't going to be eating most of it anyway, right?

I did some searching and found a Rachel Ray recipe.  This really suprised me because I don't usually make her recipes, but recently, I've found a couple of good ones that I posted about: Tuscan Style Chicken and Zuppa Osso Bucco.  Anyway, this recipe turned out surprisingly well! Here's my take on:

Pumpkin Soup 
Chili Cran-Apple Relish


* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 fresh bay leaf
* 2 ribs celery, chopped
* 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
* Salt & pepper
* 3 tablespoons Coconut Flour
* 2 teaspoons ground thyme
* 6 cups chicken stock
* 1 (28-ounce) can cooked pumpkin puree
* 2 cups heavy cream
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


* 1 Granny Smith apple, finely chopped
* 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
*1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 2 teaspoons honey 
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

First, I chopped up my onion and celery.  The recipe said to finely chop everything, however, I have the luxury of an immersion blender. :)  I decided to just keep everything in a rough chop and then puree everything later.  So, anyway, I chopped away and added the celery and onion to a stockpot with the olive oil.

I cooked the onion and celery on medium high heat until  everything was tender and smelling yummy.  The original recipe said to add in flour to the veggies to give them a coat and thicken up the soup.  However, flour is not paleo, so I switched it up and added in some coconut flour.  This is just unsweetened coconut dried up and ground to the consistency of flour.  So, I just added in the coconut flour instead of regular and also added in the thyme. 

I stirred everything so it would all be evenly coated with the flour.  It looked a little weird because the coconut flour isn't really white, it's more of a cream color.  Everything looked a little off, but whatever, the show must go on!

Next, I added in the chicken stock and stirred everything to make sure it was all evenly combined.  I used a whisk to stir everything so that there weren't any lumps and so that everything was mixed up.  This was the point where I pulled out the bay leaf and pureed everything with the immersion blender.  Once all of the onions and celery was turned to mush, I put the bay leaf back in.

 Next, I added in the pureed pumpkin.  I'm sure that those who are really hard core Martha Stewart wannabes could cut up a whole pumpkin and roast it and puree it, but I just used the regular old canned stuff!

Spoon by spoon, I added in the pumpkin puree and stirred it so that it was all incorporated well.  This helped to really thicken up the soup.  If you want it to thicken up a bit more, you can add some tapioca starch (I think that's pretty paleo, it's made from the cassava root). 

Next, I added in the heavy cream.  Dairy products are sort of a gray area when it comes to paleo, but I figured it wasn't too bad. So in it went!

After everything was mixed together, I adjusted the salt and pepper a little bit and let it simmer.  This gives the soup a chance to thicken up a bit more.  While the soup simmers, you can start making the cran apple relish to go on top.

First, you finely chop the apple and throw it in a bowl.  I peeled it first just to avoid the consistency of the peel.  I also chopped up the dried cranberries.  They are pretty small already, but I wanted them to be a bit smaller.  Then, I added all the rest of the ingredients and mixed away.  Just to be sure it was good, I took a taste of the relish and it was really yummy.  The chili pepper and cinnamon added a nice mix of sweet and spicy. 

So that was about it.  The soup was finished and it was time to taste test the soup that I didn't think would be very good.  But, to my surprise, it was delicious!

The soup had a really nice texture and the relish gave it a nice tangy bite.  I topped off the soup with just a little spoonful of the relish and mixed everything together.   I loved it!  I'm definitely going to have to add the recipe to my "favorite recipes" box and make it again!  Super excited to have a nice holiday soup that has lots of flavor and isn't super carby!

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