Friday, October 16, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Shishigatani Pumpkin Soup

This recipe is made from a pumpkin given to me by seed saver and grower Dan Botkin of Laughing Dog Farm. Known for its flavor, the Shishigatani Pumpkin has no rival but can be approximated. See recipe below. For more information about getting seeds for the Shishi and to learn about seeds in general, Laughing Dog, a farm in Gill, is a good repository of information. A former commune, Laughing Dog is now a place where fig trees, goats, Shishigatani Pumpkins and other exotic forms of flora and fauna exist in harmony all year round.

2- Medium onions, peeled & sliced thinly
1- Stick butter
1- Small/Medium potato, peeled and quartered
1- Half a hand of sage leaves, fresh and shredded
1- Half a hand of thyme, dried
1- Exotic Japanese (or Butternut) Squash
1- Dried red pepper skin, fingernail sized, cut up
S&P (salt & pepper)
1/2 to 1 heavy cream (fat is where the flavor is) or whole milk yogurt

Cook onions in butter with sage and thyme until caramelized (cooked slowly until the sugars are released, around 20 minutes.)
Peel squash, cut in half, remove seeds and place in baking dish, skillet, what have you.
Cover with olive oil or butter and bake at 350 until soft (around 40 minutes)
Boil potato in sauce pan until soft but not too soft. Reserve the water.
Add squash pieces and potatoes to onions and all allow flavors to meld
Add some of the potato water to thin soup
Season with dried red pepper and salt, as well as ground black pepper
Mix together in a food processor, blender or one of those immersion wands
Put back on to heat and add cream or yogurt.
Heat until blended and serve with spot of cream on top and sage leaf, if you have one.