viernes, noviembre 02, 2007

Autumn notes in my pumpkin soup


[La calabaza - Fresh pumpkin]

I love the seasons. They somehow serve as a time marker for me and I love the change of wardrobe and the different holidays and foods that comes with each change of season. With no signs of falling leaves and a drop of temperature, a bowl of warm pumpkin soup serves to remind me of November, the only month left before fairy lights are lit up and year-end reigns in.

Living in a metropolitan city means as long as you have the resources, you can get just about any ingredient you need for the enterprising cook. My first attempt with pumpkins here were quite a bit stressful as I realized right before serving my guests that the local variety made the taste completely off. So last minute measures to save the tureen of soup included throwing in some curry spice and that somehow helped.

While food-shopping in a Japanese grocer the other day, I discovered a completely different species -- Japanese pumpkins -- with its beautiful dark green hue on the outside and radiantly golden flesh in the inside. Aha! I found the closest substitute to recreate my trustworthy German pumpkin soup. With all those jack-o-lanterns chucked aside for disposal, you might want to think about using them to impress your love ones with this easy culinary treat, spiced with loads of tarragon and nutmeg. If you are a little adventurous, here's a spicy Asian take on the vegetarian soup, the Thai pumpkin soup, made with lemongrass and coconut milk. And most importantly, be mindful about how you would spend the second last month of the year. Before you know it, a good year would have just flown past.

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