Sunday, November 8, 2009


We had this little pumpkin in the kitchen for a few weeks. Unfortunately, it was never carved into a terrifying jack-o-latern. It's ultimate destination turned out to be soup, and crunchy snacks.

In Spain, sunflower seeds are a popular snack amongst the young and old. They sell them at soccer games like we do beer at hockey games, kids have them at recess, and teenagers litter the streets with their shells. They become pro-sunflower seed peelers, and reach speeds that I never would have imagined were possible to eat the seed without getting any shell into your mouth. They also sell the less popular pumpkin seed to be eaten in the same way. So when I popped the seeds from our own pumpkin into the oven with some salt to be roasted to the perfect crunch, J was delighted at the result.

Onto the soup. We had some bacon in the fridge, it went into the pot until it was crunchy. I then took it out and it hung out on some paper towel while the process continued. In the bacon fat went an onion. Recipe called for a large onion, but the onion I used deserves no adjective less than GINORMOUS. It was nearly the size of the pumpkin. While that browned, I continued to peel and chop the pumpkin. Normally I bake a squash for a bit so that the skin just peels right off, this soup was done a whim so I peeled it raw with a knife, much more time consuming, though neater. Once the onion was brown, I added some stock (knorr, again, on a whim, no time to thaw out the frozen stuff), and then the pumpkin. All of this came to a boil, then simmering went on until the pumpkin was soft. I zapped this into a cream, added some cinnamon, salt, pepper, and chili sauce. You know that giant bottle of bright red chili sauce that they have in Asian restaurants? That kind. The bacon went in last and was served.

The result was yummy, the combination of cinnamon and chili was really nice, and the bacon, well, it was in it's glory. Among all that veg, it sung all the high notes whenever you got a piece!

In the picture (close up, second bowl, I need to practice this artsy side), a piece of sundried tomato and olive bread from Boko bakery is sitting pretty. This bread is amazing. If you have a chance to try it, you must!

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