Thursday, January 21, 2010

A pumpkin challenge? Yes, please!

As many of you may already know, my friend Laura rocks. Not only did she motivate me to get my ass in gear and start running this week (though it's generally not starting that's my problem...), she also has been pestering me to make a Spiced Pumpkin soup that she tried for Thanksgiving.

As adorable as her version was, it was a bit time consuming, not to mention fairly fattening. So her challenge to me was to simplify/lighten it up.

Challenge accepted!

I was pretty happy with the outcome. A bit thick (I only used 3 cans of broth and probably should have used 4. But I ran out.), but quite tasty and filling. And super low cal. Plus, as an added bonus, I got to have a super color coordinated cooking experience. Holy crap, I love my new dutch oven. Isn't it gorg? I wanted a green one, but the Parallel convinced me that it would be less than appetizing. Plus it was like, twice as expensive. Details, details. Either way, now I love the red.

The only suggestion the hubby had was for more, little pieces of it. You could always saute another piece or two, chop it up, and add it when you put in the half and half. I was fine without it, but dudes like bacon. I'm pretty sure it's in their DNA.

So congrats, L. You win my muse of the week award. But I'll definitely need a review—let me know how it compares to the full fat, full afternoon version.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup
1 tbsp butter
2 slices bacon, chopped (2 oz)
1/4 cup chardonnay
1 large onion, chopped
1 serrano chili, broiled til skin is charred. Seeds removed, roughly chopped
2 large cans pumpkin puree
4 cans chicken broth (about 6.5 cups)
1/4 + 2 tbsp cup maple syrup*
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
salt and pepper
2 cups fat free half and half
Green onions for garnish

* If you like sweeter stuff, use grade B, or regular grocery store syrup. If you're not so much, use grade A. I get ours at Trader Joe's.

In large stockpot, heat butter and bacon over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion, stir occasionally for about 15 minutes. Add chili, mix well.

Add wine, and try and get up all the browned bits in the pan. Stir in pumpkin and 3 cans broth. Add syrup, paprikas, cayenne, about 3 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Stir til mixed. When it starts bubbling, reduce to low and cover. Stir once in a while for about 20 minutes.

Remove soup from heat. Using a blender (upright or immersion), puree the soup til smooth. Return to heat. Stir in half and half. If you want it thinner, add some or all of the 4th can of broth. Add more syrup, salt or spice to taste.

About 12 servings. About 100 cals per serving, 2g fat, 6g fiber, 16g carbs, 6g protein.

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