15 December 2006

Pumpkin Squash Soup

The past 24 hours here in Vancouver, Wash., have been wild. We had driving winds that took down tree limbs, fences and power lines. A tree along Main Street was uprooted and slammed onto the car windshield of a woman driving by. She was not hurt, but her car is surely out of commission for a bit.

Today the winds calmed down, but the wild weather did not. During about a two-hour span this afternoon we had sun, rain, sleet and snow. The snow was big and flaky and blowing around. For about 45 minutes it was beautiful and felt very Christmas-like.

So after a lazy afternoon at Mon Ami working online, I decided it was a soup night. And being a Friday, the fridge was empty. I peeked at the pantry shelf of canned goods. A can of pumpkin puree became my inspiration.

The result was warm, creamy and the perfect balance for a light meal. Of course, I'm quite sure that fresh pumpkin and squash would have a more robust flavor, this meal was quite good for a dish straight from the pantry (and freezer). If I had some fresh greens a wonderful salad with a little olive oil and sea salt would have been the perfect pair.

Pumpkin Squash Soup

1 can pumpkin puree
1 can chicken stock
1 package of frozen, cooked squash
1 cup of milk
1 cup of sour cream
Olive oil
Spices (see below)

Thaw the frozen squash in the chicken stock on the stove top. Once thawed, add the pumpkin, milk and sour cream. Whisk to combine. In a small bowl combine spices. I used salt, white pepper, ginger, ground coriander and paprika. The combined spices were probably roughly a tablespoon. Use whatever spices you like, or simply go with salt and pepper.

Stir in spices. Let soup simmer over a low heat for five to 10 minutes. Taste. Add salt if needed. Stir in a drizzle of olive oil to finish.

I served the soup garnished with scallions and chopped walnuts. I would have added sour cream to that if I'd had any left.

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