,,One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating.
And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends. ,,
-Laurie Colwin

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Carvings

With Halloween just around the corner everybody post recipes with pumpkins. I thought I have to share too my recipe for the Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Pie and some pictures of my Pumpkin carvings that I made with my family and friends. Pumpkin is rich in beta carotene is high in fiber and provides large amounts of vitamin C and potassium. The small orange pumpkins are a little sweeter and have a better flavor for pumpkin recipes than the large orange varieties. Just cut off the top and bottom and scoop out the seeds. Then, I cut the pumpkin in wedges and remove the peeling. Cut the strips into chunks. Simmer or bake until tender to make the  pumpkin puree if you have recipes that use ready make puree. 
Curried Pumpkin Soup with coriander oil and ham focaccia.
For 10 portions you need.
2 kilos pumpkins or butternut squash cut into 5 cm chunks
5 tablespoon olive oil
5 celery sticks,
3 large onions, sliced
5 garlic cloves,
1 tablespoon curry powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 liters chicken stock
500 ml double cream
Coriander oil for garnish
In a large heavy pot fry the onion, celery and garlic over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Add the curry powder and a large pinch of salt and pepper and stir well.
Add the pumpkins, chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir well, reduce the heat to moderate, add cream and simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
In a food processor or with a hand blender puree the soup until smooth. Adjust seasonings. Serve the soup into shallow bowls and garnish with the coriander oil and coriander leaves. To make coriander oil I blend in a food processor some fresh coriander with extra virgin olive oil, one clove of garlic and seasoning.
I serve the soup with Focaccia (recipe here) sandwich made with garlic butter, ham, tomato and cedar cheese.
Pumpkin Pie with almond crumble
For the Shortcut Pastry
300 g all-purpose flour
200 g unsalted butter, soft
125 g of sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tablespoons of backing powder
Pinch of salt,
1-2 tablespoons of iced water
For the filling:
1 small pumpkin or ready bake 750 gr
3 large eggs
600 g sweet condensed milk (cooked in can)
5 g sea salt
5 g ground cinnamon
5 g ground ginger
3 g grated nutmeg
Almond Crumb Topping
140 g almonds flakes
80 g brown sugar
30 g all-purpose flour
50 g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Sift the flour into a mixer bowl or food processor add the soft butter, sugar, backing powder, salt, egg, water and mix in slow speed until pastry forms a ball. If the mixture seems dry, add more water to hold the dough together. Wrap the pastry and place in refrigerator for 1 hour. Roll out and then press it into 30 cm greased pie dish, trim off the excess dough and bake for 15 minutes at 180C until golden brown color.
Meanwhile, cut the pumpkin in wedges, remove the seeds, place the pumpkin wedges in a tray and bake for 1 hour or until the pumpkin is tender. Scrape the pulp from the shell and purée it with a fork or in a blender. Measure 750 g of the purée and set it aside.
Reserve any additional pumpkin for another use.
In a large mixing bowl lightly beat the eggs. Add the purée, condensed milk and the remaining ingredients and stir to blend. Pour the mixture over the pastry case and bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the topping. Combine the almonds and the sugar in a food processor, pulsing to chop the almonds well. Add the flour, butter and almond mixture into a large bowl and rub between your fingers to make large, buttery crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Remove the pie from the oven and reduce the temperature to 160 C. Carefully dump the crumbs in the center of the pie, spreading them evenly. Return the pie to the oven and bake an additional 30 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Enjoy again.
One of the most fun and creative Halloween traditions is Pumpkin Carving.

Celebrating Halloween with a pumpkin carving party it's a great way to spend time with friends, children’s and family.Carving a pumpkin is really quite simple and quite satisfying to do. Here are some pictures of how we did some of the carving in 2008 with my family and friends.
This Kiss one it was mine.
This one with the nails was my wife's and my daughter's.
This was mine also and the others were made by friends.
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