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Archive for November, 2005

Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Soup

Now we find ourselves at the end of Halloween week and more than a few of you are eyeing up the old Jack O’Lantern and thinking what a waste it is to just throw it out.  What with all that wholesome apple harvesting and hay riding going on right now, you might get to thinking that you can turn your decorative pumpkins into pies. It’s not your fault- even the most reluctant cooks can be overcome by the heady scent of cider – who wouldn’t start thinking that?

Do you know any first-time pumpkin converters who had the delusional notion that they could (a) be clever (b) be thrifty (c) be old-fashioned by hacking up their old Jack O’Lanterns before they go moldy and turning them into pies?  Has anyone of them ever reported a different result that "it was all stringy and didn’t tasted awful"?

There’s a reason for that – the pumpkins that are cultivated for appearance and size are not the ones that are cultivated for taste!  Shocking!  Haven’t we already learned this lesson with the Red Delicious Apple and the American Beauty Rose? Composed of one part appearance, one part  extended shelf life , there’s nothing else to recommend them? Form triumphs over function yet again.

This illuminating article about  pumkpin puree informs us that :

"Over the years, Libby’s used agricultural research and selective systems to develop a special variety of pumpkin (a type of squash) ideal for canning and consistent quality. That would be the Dickinson squash with rich, golden-orange color and creamy texture.
These are very different from Halloween field pumpkins; the Dickinsons are smaller, squat, meatier, heavier, sweeter and more dense."

And, my dears – pumpkin is  a superfood.

"Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A … It’s an excellent source of fiber and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals — even if the pumpkin comes right out of a can."

This rich soup comes from the Libby’s web site where other of their corporate brand products are included in every recipe. Less obedient recipe readers might substitute  their own chicken broth and heavy cream. There is no substitue for Libby’s pure-pack pumpkin and that is as it should be.

PUMPKIN  and GORGONZOLA SOUP

1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY’S 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 1/2 cups water 
2 teaspoons MAGGI Instant Chicken Flavor Bouillon
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 can (12 fl. oz.) CARNATION Evaporated Milk
3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 large green onion, finely chopped

Directions:

COOK pumpkin, water, bouillon and sage in large saucepan, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil.

STIR in evaporated milk and cheese. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring frequently, until most of cheese is melted.
SPRINKLE with green onion before serving.
SEASON with ground black pepper.

recipe from VeryBestBaking.com

I read the consumer reviews on the webiste before I made this soup and heeded the warning that the recipe as written delivered a bland result, so I added dried oregano, ground nutmeg, salt and lots of ground black pepper. I also incorporated  two  sliced green onions into the soup as it cooked.

Also, please note that LIBBY’S Pure Canned Pumpkin shares supermarket shelf space with LIBBY’S Canned Pumpkin Pie Mix. The cans are similar in size and heft – read the labels to be sure you are getting what you want – the pure pumpkin puree.

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