It feels great to be cooking and blogging again—I missed my regular Monday post this week because I caught a bad cold and then a multi-day stomach virus on top of that! It’s hard to cook and write about food when you’re eating yogurt and plain rice, curled up on the couch watching Gilmore Girls and feeling sorry for yourself. Maybe a stronger person could have done it, but that person wasn’t me this week. I finally have my appetite and motivation back, and Andrew and I are visiting my parents in Pennsylvania, where cooking opportunities abound.
I wanted to use up a few bags of chestnuts, so I made this very wintry soup for dinner, and it helped a little in making me feel like it’s Christmas. I don’t know if it’s the warm, rainy weather, the unnerving political climate, or feeling like I lost a week with being sick, but I’m not really feeling the holiday spirit yet. We’re making roast goose with prunes and Armagnac tonight, and tomorrow will be brunch with bacon and gingerbread pancakes. We fly to Phoenix on Christmas Eve to see Andrew’s family, and when we arrive we’ll have a late dinner of Beef Wellington—with all of those festive meals I’m hoping to be in the holiday spirit by Christmas!
Today we’re running out to do a few last-minute shopping errands before starting to cook the goose. We’ll also need to figure out what to do with the carton of quail eggs I bought. Mini deviled eggs? We might watch a Christmas movie tonight to get even more in the spirit, or I may finally settle down with the new Philip Pullman, The Book of Dust. What are you up to this weekend?
Pumpkin Soup with Chestnuts & Chorizo
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped dried Spanish chorizo
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
- 1/2 tsp crushed fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 large pinch saffron
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chestnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened pumpkin purée
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3/4 cups canned whole tomatoes
- 3.5 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and chorizo, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the spices, stir, and cook for another minute. Then add the chestnuts, pumpkin purée, broth, and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft, about 20 to thirty minutes.
- Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, blend the soup slightly to create a coarse purée. Serve topped with crumbled goat cheese and pumpkin seeds.