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:
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
* 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!