Friday, October 19, 2012

Chipotle Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Corn

I'm currently writing to you from the mountains of Colorado, staring out the window at a picturesque fall scene...colored leaves. Crisp cool air. Mountain backdrop with snow capped peaks. Divine fall beauty. 

Inspired by my surroundings, and my fabulous sister's request for pumpkin soup during my visit, this chipotle pumpkin soup with roasted corn simply feels like fall. Thankfully. To say I was nervous making this soup is an understatement. The results of my last attempt while visiting turned out less than optimally. This time I came armed with a mission: create a great tasting soup (and lots of other vegan goodies for her!) using the few, very few, spices she has. This way, she can re-create the goodness and I won't have to hear about how I stocked her place with foods and ingredients she can hardly pronounce, let alone use.

I was mostly nervous about the chipotle seasoning. That thought quickly faded as I realized without nutmeg or cloves to make a 'sweet' pumpkin soup, it's about all I had going. Sometimes while cooking, you just have to trust yourself. Start off small with the seasoning of choice (so you can 'fix' it if it doesn't taste so great), but add more if it does. It's fun! It's this really cool experiment you get to taste, eat, and share with others.

The chipotle seasoning does work well with the soup. It lends a little kick while the cinnamon and ginger contrast it ever so slightly with subtle sweetness. If you don't have the Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle blend, mix equal parts chipotle chili pepper (or powder) and chili powder. Then throw in a few dashes of cayenne pepper, cumin, oregano, and thyme. Again, it's all an experiment! Get creative. Pumpkin is a very forgiving ingredient...why do you think it's in so many recipes??
Also, I like to keep my soups low in fat, but you can use 1/2 can coconut milk in place of the soy or almond for a richer consistency. Adding extra veggies and then blending them up will not only add more nutrition bang for you buck, but creates that thicker consistency without the fat, or more traditionally, cream.

So, what did the lunch guest of honor have to say about it? Let's just say she even went back for seconds. :)

Chipotle Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Corn
Serves 8

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 cup matchstick carrots
2 - 3 heaping teaspoons Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning Blend
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 15oz cans of pumpkin (or 1 large 29oz can)
5 1/2 cups of vegetable broth (keep in mind, I'm in the mountains and the liquid was evaporating like crazy, so start with 3 1/2 cups and add more as desired)
1 cup soy or almond milk 
2 cups frozen corn

1. Saute onion, garlic, mushrooms, and matchstick carrots in large soup kettle over medium-high heat. If your vegetables are sticking, add a tablespoon of broth.
2. Once the vegetables are tender, add the spices and half the broth. Reduce heat to low medium.
3. Using an immersion blender, or transferring the ingredients to a traditional blender, blend the soup until the vegetables are tiny flecks or pureed completely, your choice. Add the pumpkin, remaining broth, and milk.
4. Let these flavors meld. Cover and simmer on low medium for at least 20 minutes.
5. While fall flavors are infusing throughout your soup, pour a single layer of corn on a baking sheet. Broil on low for about 10 minutes (takes less time if you choose to use canned or fresh corn) until corn is beautifully golden brown.
6. Remove corn from oven, and either stir into soup or use as a garnish when served. Or do a little of both!

1 comment:

  1. This soup completely hit the spot! It tasted really good as leftovers too. PS: I would like to rebuttal, t I have plenty of spices :-)