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by on October 1st, 2009

Pumpkin Tomato Soup with Creme Fraiche & Parmesan Leaf Puffs

Fall is here and you may be seeing pumpkins pop up all over the fields and markets. Ever think of pairing pumpkins and tomatoes to make a delicious soup?

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Doesn’t this picture just make you want to grab your kids and take them out to a pumpkin patch? Hey, it’s the first of October and I think it’s time to start thing about soups and comfort food.

Not being a tomato soup fan. I’ve never had the urge to curl up with a blanket and a bowl of Campbells’ tomato soup on a cold winter’s night to take the chill off. I’m more inclined to turn the air conditioning down low and then turn on the fireplace so I feel like it is winter here in Texas and then have a bowl of  soup.

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This is a beautiful soup and is great served cold, room temperature or warm.

Several years ago, I ran across these two books, Morning Food and Cafe Beaujolais. They were written by Margaret Fox. She use to own and run this little restaurant, Cafe Beaujolais in Mendocino, California. I found several recipes from these books that have become favorites of mine.

This recipe is from Morning Food and blends pumpkin and tomato together beautifully. You don’t really even taste the pumpkin, it just adds a nice sweetness to the tomato and cuts the acidity of the soup. I like to top this with creme fraiche hearts and Parmesan Leaf Puffs.

 

cinderallapumpkin

I saw these Cinderella Pumpkins at the market yesterday. I’ve never seen them before and had to stop and take a picture. These look like miniature pumpkins but there were very large — large enough to even have Cinderella inside along for a ride. This recipe doesn’t call for fresh pumpkin, but if you wanted to try using it, you would want to use the small pie pumpkins.

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In the pot and ready for the chicken stock.

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I pureed this using my stick blender. So easy and quick for pureeing soups.

 

Pumpkin Tomato Soup with Creme Fraiche Hearts

2 c. onion, finely chopped
1/3 c. butter
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
29 oz. pumpkin, canned (not pie filling)
15 oz. tomato sauce, or crushed tomatoes
3 Tbsp. tomato paste (I used Amore Double Concentrated in tube)
1/4 c. parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. honey
6 c. chicken stock
1 c. heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
Creme Fraiche

Saute the onions in butter for 10 minutes until limp and translucent. Add the nutmeg, pumpkin, tomato sauce and tomato paste, parsley, honey and chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cream, puree with stick blender and season to taste.

Serve with a Creme Fraiche Heart, a few Parmesan croutons and a sprinkling of parsley. To make the Creme Fraiche Heart, put about one teaspoon of cream fresh off to the side of the soup and draw toothpick or knife through the center, creating a little heart. Or you can garnish with a dollop of lightly salted whipped cream or sour cream. and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Creme Fraiche

1 c. heavy cream
1 Tbsp. buttermilk

Mix together cover with napkin or cheesecloth and let set out on counter for 24 hours until it thickens. Store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Parmesan Leaf Puffs

1 sheet puffed pastry, thawed enough to unfold
1/2 c. melted butter
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
Parmesan cheese

I used my little leaf pie cutters to cut the puffed pastry but you can cut in squares or any other shapes. Cut and put on ungreased cookie sheet. Mix the Italian seasoning with the melted butter and brush onto your shapes. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese and bake at 400° until nice and brown, about 15 minutes. Watch closely.

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