Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pumpkin-Apple-Leek Soup

Photo by Katie Guymon

The heat finally broke in Saint Louis, and I am ready to get my fall on! You all know that I am obsessed with all things pumpkin. I mean, my heart beats for this particular gourd. So, on top of pumpkin spiced lattes and O'Fallon's pumpkin beer, I added pumpkin-apple-leek soup to the weekend menu.

Growing up in Southern Illinois, my parents always took us to Mary's in Herrin for special occasions: my granny's birthday, my grad school graduation, my uncles visiting for the holidays.... It's not often that I visit the restaurant these days - we're talking maybe once a year - but one thing is a guarantee. I pray to God that the soup of the day is the pumpkin-apple-leek soup, a freaking delicious sweet-savory combination topped with melted cheese that makes my taste buds swoon. And, really, I can't tell you the last time that I won the second course lottery because in recent years, I've had to settle for potato bisque or corn chowder. Life is unfair, I tell you.

So, I had to take matters into my own hands. My mom recently gave me a recipe for curried pumpkin soup, so I combined bits of that with bits of one of my favorite fall meals, Barefoot Contessa's roasted butternut squash soup. And then I improvised with apples and got a little loco with cinnamon. I know. Stuff's getting serious.

Pumpkin-Apple-Leek Soup
-2 tablespoons of butter
-2 teaspoons of garlic, minced
-5 leeks, cleaned, trimmed, and chopped
-1 tablespoon red curry
-2 Granny Smith apples, cored and diced
-3 14.5 oz. cans of low-sodium chicken broth
-2 15 oz. cans of pumpkin puree
-1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
-1/2 cup of half-and-half
-salt and pepper to taste
-freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-fresh parsley

1. Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

2. Add the garlic and the leeks until soft, approximately 3-4 minutes.

3. Add the curry and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

4. Add the chicken broth and apples and cook until the apples are tender.

5. Add the pumpkin and cinnamon and cook for ten minutes. Puree the soup with a immersion blender.

6. Add the half-and-half and the salt and pepper.

7. Garnish with the Parmesan and parsley to serve.

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