A hearty soup that makes us all pumpkin eaters
Wild mushrooms seem to sing the praises of the season in the fall. During October, we often prepare this soup to utilize the amazing variety of mushrooms coming into our kitchens. Although not every grocery store carries the same extensive selection of mushrooms that we have access to at the restaurant, I highly recommend fresh mushrooms for this if you can. Tony de Luca, Simply in Season: 12 Months of Wine Country Cooking, Whitecap, $39.95, ISBN 978-1-55285-951-3
Pumpkin Soup with Wild Mushrooms
from Tony de Luca’s Simply in Season
2 cups fresh wild mushrooms, cleaned and chopped (500 mL)
2 Tbsp olive oil (30 mL)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter (30 mL)
2 leeks (white parts only), chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp honey (15 mL)
8 cups coarsely chopped pumpkin (peeled and seeded) (2 L)
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (1.5 L)
1/2 cup orange juice (125 mL)
1/2 cup 35 percent cream (125 mL)
5 sage leaves
6 whole cloves
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
HEAT a large saucepan over medium heat and ADD the olive oil and butter. When the butter foams, ADD the leeks, onion, garlic and soaked or fresh mushrooms and SAUTÉ, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. STIR in the honey.
ADD the pumpkin, stock, orange juice and mushroom-soaking liquid (if using dried mushrooms) and SIMMER for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. STIR the cream, sage and cloves and SIMMER for 5 minutes more.
TRANSFER the soup to a blender (not a food processor) and BLEND until smooth. STRAIN the soup through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding solids. RETURN to the rinsed-out saucepan.
To SERVE, bring back to a simmer and season with salt and pepper to taste. LADLE into 8 warm soup bowls.