Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Isn't the Mr. an awesome pumpkin carver?  Who knew.

Although we aren't costuming it up this year (how could we top the 2009 Chuck and Serena ensemble?) we are celebrating Halloween in the Parisian fashion.  Drinking wine and cooking.

Spicy Sage and Saffron Pumpkin Bisque 
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 heavy cream
3 T. olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1/2 T. cayenne (more or less to taste)
pinch of saffron
1 t. hot pepper sauce (I used Louisiana)
1 T. lemon juice
2 whole sage leaves
1 chopped sage leaf
2 bay leaves
S&P to taste

Herb tip:  keep fresh herbs in a cup filled with water.  It helps them stay fresh in your fridge. 
In large dutch oven, heat olive oil.  Add garlic and onions and sauté until tender.  Add white wine to deglaze the pan and cook until wine has dissolved (about 4 to 6 minutes).  Add in chicken stock, carrot, celery, saffron, 2 sage leaves, 2 bay leaves, and cayenne.

Bring to a boil and then turn down to low and simmer for 30 minutes, covered.  Strain the soup into another big bowl.  Discard the solids remaining in strainer.  Pour the soup back into the dutch oven.  Whisk in heavy cream, pumpkin puree, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce and chopped sage.  Cook for 10 minutes on medium low heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste and adjust seasonings.  (I like everything spicy, so I added more cayenne at the end).  Serves 4 to 6.

Serve with home made croutons and a dollop of Boursin garlic and herb cheese (or a few pieces of salty feta would be good too).  Simple and satisfying.

Happy Halloween and Bon appetite!

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