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Roasted pumpkin soup with saffron ice cream

This is the perfect Thanksgiving soup, it highlights the change in season and everything good about fall. It is also a very sophisticated soup for a lovely exclusive dining experience.

This soup pairs roasted pumpkins with a slightly sweet spiced-saffron ice cream. It is a bright orange to highlight the change in colours. It contrasts a hot soup with cold ice cream that tantalizes the palate. Finally, the flavours move from mild earthy pumpkins to sweet ice cream and spicy chilli flakes. This soup is a delight.

I will admit this soup takes some effort to make, making the stock, roasting the pumpkins, and making the ice cream take time and planning. However, for an elegant dinner this soup shines, it is spectacular looking and every one of my guests has loved this soup. It sets the tone for a very upscale dinner.

This is one of my favorite cookbook for tapas and other Spanish foods. I have cooked quite a few recipes from this very hefty cookbook, and all of them, like this one are superb. The recipes are true to their core, full of flavor and absolutely delicious. Combined with the fact that I absolutely love Spanish, particularly Catalan, cuisine, this is a cookbook that I go to a lot. I highly recommend this cookbook for those who would like to have great Spanish cuisine on their tables.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.



Ingredients:

For the ice cream:

3 cups cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seeds

A very generous pinch saffron

1 teaspoon salt


For the soup:

1 large (2-2 1/2 lbs) pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and sliced into wedges

1/2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

Oil spray

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper


1 large onion, sliced

Zest 1 large orange

15 basil leaves + additional for garnish

6 cups chicken stock or water

1/2 cup milk

Salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon white pepper


For the stock:

The pumpkin peels and seeds

1 onion, chopped

5-6 black peppercorns

1 carrot, diced

10 stems parsley

Salt, to taste

8 cups water


To make the stock, add all the ingredients to a small pot and bring it to a boil. Simmer gently for 45 minutes. Strain the solids from the stock, pressing down on the solids to get as much of the stock as you can.


Heat the cream for the ice cream in a bowl till just below boiling. Take off the heat and add all the ingredients, except the salt, and mix in well. Allow to steep for 30 minutes or till cooled completely. Add the salt and taste for a good balance of sweet salt and spice.


Make the ice cream in an ice cream maker or freeze it in the freezer.


Preheat the oven to 375 ° F.


Add the pumpkin and sweet potatoes to a lined baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spray with olive oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes till the pumpkin is soft and charred in a few spots. Remove and set aside.


Heat the oil in a pot and add the onions and orange zest. sautè on low heat till the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the basil, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 30 minutes. The pumpkins will most probably disintegrate at this point.


Purèe the soup with a hand blender till very smooth. If you need to, pass through a fine mesh sieve so that you get a smoother soup.


Serve hot with a small scoop of ice cream and a garnish of fresh basil.




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