Chef Raymond Blanc of the two-Michelin-starred Oxford, England restaurant Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons shares his recipe for an easy pumpkin soup.
“A very easy soup,” outlines Blanc, “which has lots of richness and flavour. The success of this dish depends very much on the variety of the pumpkin. The best I have found is ‘Potiron Muscade’, which is quite large, relatively flat, with dark brown skin and very pronounced curves. In my opinion, this is the best variety to make this soup. You can replace the pumpkin with butternut squash and should you wish you could serve this soup with a generous serving of crème fraiche. This soup can be prepared one day in advance.”
Serves (Yield): 4
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
400g Pumpkin flesh, ripe, outer skin removed & diced 2cm
200g / 1 small Onions, chopped finely
40g /2 tbsp Butter, unsalted
8g / 8 pinches Sea salt
½g /1 pinch White pepper, freshly ground
6g / 6 pinches Sugar, caster
600ml Milk, whole, organic
Crème fraiche optional
On medium heat, in a 25 cm (10-inch) saucepan, soften the onions in the butter for approximately 5 minutes without coloring. Add the diced pumpkin and soften for approximately 6-8 minutes (the softening with the butter will bring out the sweet flavor of the pumpkin) stirring from time to time then season with salt, pepper and caster sugar. Add the milk, bring to simmering point and simmer for 10 minutes. Note: if you boil the milk too long it will separate, so cook very gently.
Liquidise the soup until it reaches a smooth velvety consistency. Bring the soup back to the boil and serve in a large soup tureen. A nice helping of crème fraiche would add a touch of je ne sais quoi!
A couple of tablespoons of Kirsch (Cherry alcohol) boiled for 2 seconds is a classic addition. Some grilled croutons topped with gruyere cheese would be a delicious accompaniment. Toasted pumpkin seeds can also be added to the dish.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.