Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Speaking of Halloween: Pumpkin and Shrimp Soup


I was introduced to this soup at a French-Mexican fusion place near me, called Itzocan Bistro, a couple of years back. They have a very similar soup on their menu, which I tried to recreate. However,  they add a dollop of Chipotle crema fresca (creme Fraiche). Not being big on veggies and thinking this a strnage combo - I tried it anyhow only to dicover it's divine and great for fall festivities and now it's one of my favorites.

Pumpkin and Shrimp Soup

Ingredients
2 medium onions, sliced
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 14-ounce can chicken broth
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 cup milk
1 8-ounce package frozen, peeled, cooked shrimp, thawed
Fresh shrimp in shells, peeled, deveined, and cooked (optional)
Plain low-fat yogurt or dairy sour cream (optional)
Snipped fresh chives (optional)

Directions
1. In a covered large saucepan cook the onions, carrots, cilantro, ginger, garlic, and allspice in hot margarine for 10 to 12 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring once or twice.

2. Transfer the mixture to a blender container or food processor bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth. Cover and blend or process until nearly smooth.

3. In the same saucepan combine pumpkin, milk, and remaining broth. Stir in the blended vegetable mixture and the 8 ounces shrimp; heat through. If desired, on small skewers thread additional cooked shrimp. Ladle soup into soup bowls. If desired, top each serving with a spoonful of yogurt, a sprinkling of chives, and a shrimp skewer. Makes 4 servings.
You can also serve inside a pumpkin:

Quote:
If you are going to serve the soup in a pumpkin, boil 2 quarts of water. Cut the top off of the pumpkin and clean out carefully.Cut a notch in the top for the ladle to stick through. Pour the boiling water into the pumpkin and swish around and then pour into sink. Pour the soup into the pumpkin and serve with lemon or shrimp wedges.
You can add a dollop of fresh sour cream to yours instead of the crema fresca. Last time I made it I added sweet potato and pureed it and also 2 tablespoons of sofrito, some old bay seasoning, adobo, tons of garlic, frozen crab meat, scallions, pepper, cumin, basil, and since I didn't have allspice, I used nutmeg and ground cloves, and dried cilantro. I also used lowfat milk. Let me know if you try it. If you like thick, creamy soups - you will enjoy this one. It makes a great soup course at Thanksgiving dinner too.

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