Pumpkin and Tomatillo Twist Soup (and Mushroom Quesadillas)

The two elements to my soup: Green tomatillo sauce, and velvety textured pumpkin soup.

I had big thoughts for my soup last night when I got home. The city was battling a windstorm and I decided that the way to combat that was to make a nice fall soup with all the great produce from sunday’s ballard market. Luckily the power stayed on at my house, unfortunately B was driving home from Kenmore, where the lights were not on, and didn’t make it in time to share this with me before I went to my soccer game.

There were a lot of elements to the meal, so I’m going to list them seperately:
Pumpkin Soup
1 Pumkin (I think mine was about 2lbs
1/2 can of chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic
1/2 a large white onion
Smoked paprika
fresh ground nutmeg

Tomatillo Mix in
5 Tomatillos
2 small hot peppers (habanero, jalapeno, whatever heat level you choose)
1 tbsp olive oil

Wild Mushroom Quesadillas
1 oz asiago cheese
1 oz sharp cheddar cheese
8 small corn tortillas
1tbsp olive oil
1/2 large porcini mushroom
5 chantrelles

Pumpkin seeds
Seeds from pumkin used for soup
hot paprika

I did this all by feel, so my amounts and spices used were what I happened to have on hand, but I like the final product and would reccommend it to all.

As I began cooking, I noticed that the top of my pumpkin, around the stem was going moldy, so I cut that off and chopped my pumkin in to quarters (removing and saving the innards for the seeds) and stuck it into the oven at 450 degrees for about 55 minutes. When I pulled it out, the skin was still pretty stuck so I put it under the broiler on high for 5 minutes to make it easier to pull off.

While the pumpkin roasted, I chopped the tomatillos and peppers, sauteed them in the oil and then stuck them in the blender. I then strained that mixture, saving the liquid for its participation in the soup, and that lumpy bit of tomatillo and pepper? It was just tangy enough that I stuck it in a tupperware and put it in the freezer for the next time I make guacamole.

Next up, I sauteed the onions with the garlic in the oil until the onions were clear. Ahh, this is how a kitchen should smell.

Strained, as best I could, the pulp away from the seeds of the pumpkin and lay them flat on a baking sheet, sprinkled with salt, pepper and hot paprika, which gave them a lovely maroon color.

By this time, the pumkin was ready to come out of the oven and I set that aside to cool, lowered the oven to 400 degrees and put in the seeds.

Peeling the skin off of the pumkin, I threw it in the blender with the onions and garlic, adding the chicken stock slowly to smoth it out. Blend for a while, until it was completely smooth, then threw it on the stove with a fair amount of salt, pepper and smoked paprika (taste testing as I went to find the right amount)

At this point I was still intending to add the mushrooms to the soup, since I don’t like soups with out tasty chunks in them so much. But the texture of the pumpkin mix looked so pretty and velevety smooth, I decided instead to make a go along of wild mushroom quesadilla. I chopped the mushrooms and threw them in a pan with the olive oil. While the soup heated up and the the mushrooms fried, I crumbled the two cheeses (asigao for the saltiness, cheddar for the bite) and pulled some (hanging my head in shame) pre-made tortillas from the fridge. Pulling the mushrooms of the heat, I put them in a bowl and lay one tortilla down on the pan (over low heat). Piled a few mushrooms, then the cheese, then topped it with another tortilla. When the tortilla began to brown I flipped it, browning the other side. Cut this into quarters, and placed them around the bowl on a plate. I spooned the pumpkin mixture in the bowl, then added a dollop of the tomatillo mixture on top and a sprinkling of the pumkin seeds.

The green of the tomatillos contrasted beautifully with the orange soup, and the red of the pumpkin seeds stuck out, adding a crunch to the soup. It was a lot of work (took me about an hour and a half of constantly working) but the end product was beautiful and delicious, so it was certainly worth it.


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