Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Argentinean Pumpkin Soup

We are now six days into our month of eating vegetarian, and I have to admit it's going really well. My cravings for cheeseburgers and pot roast and bacon (mmm...bacon...*drool*) have lessened, and I've been enjoying everything we've cooked so far.

Earlier this week we made Argentinean Pumpkin Soup, and I have to admit we were both feeling a little dubious about the soup as it came together. When it was done, I tasted it, made a few additions from the spice cabinet, and declared it ready. I had also baked a loaf of bread, which was decidedly less successful since you couldn't chew through the crust. The middle was good, but only when fresh out of the oven. I guess bread is on my list of things to work on and perfect.

We each sat down with a bowl of soup, and while Gabbie refused to touch hers (stinker!), Aaron and I dug in and quickly realized how satisfying this soup really is, especially on freezing cold days like we've had lately. Aaron declared it a delicious, "rustic" meal, and said he'd happily eat it again any time. Good thing, since it made lots of leftovers!

Argentinean Pumpkin Soup
adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

4 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 lb. sugar pumpkin and/or butternut squash (we used both), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I measured the weight after chopping, so you'll want to account for that in the size of the squashes)
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. onion salt
4 c. vegetable broth
1 c. water
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 c. dried apricots, quartered

Put the butter in a soup pan over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the pumpkin, onion, red bell pepper, potatoes, and salt, pepper, cinnamon, and onion salt,and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.  Add the stock, water, tomatoes, and apricots, and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Partially cover and cook, stirring occiasionally until the pumpkin starts to fall apart, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve piping hot with nice fresh bread.

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