Pumpkin and Chorizo Soup
Like many foods we enjoy today, pumpkins are a product of the New World, and entered Europe in the 15th century. Most foods introduced during that time took a while to gain momentum in Europe – sometimes hundreds of years – but not the pumpkin. Because they resembled gourds and squashes common in the Old World, pumpkins were readily adopted and prized for their robust flavor and easy cultivation. It was quickly made into various soups, and mixed with honey and spices as early as the 17th century – a precursor to pumpkin pie.
For today’s recipe I wanted to keep pumpkin closer to its place of origin – North America – so I decided to focus on a Mexican soup commonly referred to as Sopa de Calabaza, often flavored with cumin and chorizo sausage. I really like the cyclical nature of this dish. Cumin was first cultivated in India and introduced to the Americas by the Portuguese and Spanish. Chorizo is the best of both worlds: Old World sausage flavored with paprika made by New World peppers, and later re-introduced to the Americas. So this dish is the product of the unique culinary marriage of these two continents and cultures.
While pre-roasting a whole pumpkin inevitably lends more depth of flavor, using canned pumpkin puree drastically cuts down on your cooking time and effectively turns this dish into a 30-minute meal.
Serves: 4Serves: 4
Note, these instructions are written assuming the standard serving size, since you have modified the number of servings, these steps may need to be modified for best results
- Warm the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or dutch oven on medium heat for one minute. Add the onion and sautu00e9 until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and sautu00e9 until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
- Add the pumpkin puree and chicken broth, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes to allow flavors to marry.
- As the soup simmers, sautu00e9 the chorizo in a separate pan over medium heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes, then set aside.
- Blend the soup until smooth and return to the skillet (alternatively, use an immersion blender). It should be thick but not overly so (think tomato or split pea soup) u2013 if itu2019s too thick, add a little water. Stir in almost all of the chorizo, then season to taste. Divide the soup into 4 bowls and scatter with chopped cilantro and the reserved chorizo, then serve.
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