Saturday, November 16, 2019

Jamaican Pumpkin Soup- à la canadienne

I love soups- especially as I sit in my living room, watching the snow fall, in November.  A little too much snow, too soon.  I can look forward to the sweet smells of soup simmering on the stove.

If you cannot find Jamaican pumpkin, feel free to improvise- regular pumpkin or other orange squash.  Same for the white yam- carrots, regular yam or sweet potato.

You can also roast the squashes in the oven to make it easier to peel and dice.  Just wrap in foil and place in a hot oven for 45 minutes to an hour.

To serve about six...

3  Spanish onions, diced
4  stalks celery, diced
1  tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
5  garlic cloves, minced
3  tablespoons grapeseed oil
1  tablespoon ground allspice
1  teaspoon ground nutmeg
1  teaspoon turmeric
1  fresh green or red jalapeno or serrano chili (or 1/2 Jamaican Scotch bonnet chili), minced
1  large white yam, peeled and diced
½  calabaza (Jamaican pumpkin) - about 10 lbs or a 10-pound regular pumpkin, or a buttercup squash, peeled, seeded and diced
2  quarts vegetable, water or chicken stock
 Approximately 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, to taste
 Approximately 1 tablespoon sugar, to taste
½  cup cilantro, chopped
½  cup mint leaves, chopped
3  scallions, sliced thin

In a large stock pot, soften the onions, celery, ginger and garlic in the peanut oil. Add the allspice, nutmeg, turmeric and chili and cook three to five minutes longer.

Add the diced yam and pumpkin, along with the vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, until tender (about 20 minutes). Season to taste with salt and sugar.

Puree half the soup in a food processor and return it to the stock pot. Heat through. Just before serving, garnish it with the cilantro, mint and scallions.

IF BY CHANCE YOUR SOUP IS TOO SPICY...That happens to me all the time.  How to tone it down... I added a can of pureed pumpkin, some water then tasted and added salt and a little extra nutmeg and allspice.  Voilà!

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