Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Well Equipt 2

Cozy Autumn Pumpkin Soup with Cheesy Garlic Toasts

Oh immersion blender . . . how ever did I prepare delicious, creamy soups without you?

The immersion blender, sometimes referred to as a "stick blender" or as my mom calls it, "the motor boat," is an extremely useful, small, and inexpensive kitchen tool. It's basically exactly what it sounds like: a blender on a stick. It has all the chopping/whipping action of a blender without the hassle of having to clean the blender or running the risk of spraying the ceiling with hot soup. I use mine to whip up salad dressings, smoothies, and (obviously) creamy soups in a snap. It is (almost) as easy to make this soup recipe with a regular blender- just work in batches and make sure the soup isn't too hot (unless you wish to learn the hot-soup-on-the-ceiling-lesson for yourself).

The weather is definitely changing, I had to wear my cute new mittens on my commute to and from work today. Not that I'm complaining- the mittens are extremely cute and I really enjoy getting home from a long day and enjoying a warm, comforting bowl of soup while the rain is beating on the windows outside. I put together this creamy and satisfying concoction in about 30 minutes- it's really yummy and makes tons of leftovers for many more upcoming chilly fall evenings.


- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- l red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 30 oz. canned pumpkin
- 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 qt. chicken broth
- 7-8 oz. mascarpone cheese
- 1 small handful Italian parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper
- good quality sliced crusty bread
- butter
- ground paprika
- sliced provolone cheese
- crushed garlic

For the soup, heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add bell pepper and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, canned pumpkin, tomatoes, parsley, and brown sugar. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

As soup simmers, prepare the garlic cheese toasts. For each toast use 1 Tbsp. butter, one slice of provolone, and 1-2 cloves crushed garlic. In a small bowl mash together butter and garlic with a fork. Spread each slice of bread with butter mixture, sprinkle with a pinch of paprika, and top with a slice of provolone. Preheat broiler and place toast slices on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Place toasts under broiler and toast for about 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly (keep an eye on your broiler).

After soup has simmered, remove from heat and blend in batches in blender until smooth OR use your fantastic immersion blender. Add mascarpone cheese to blended soup and stir over low heat until cheese is melted and well combined. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and serve with garlic cheese toasts.

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