Chai-Infused Pumpkin Soup

Last week, I was chosen to be a Food & Wine Blogger Correspondent through Foodbuzz. For the next month, I will be posting at least 4 recipes a week inspired by Food & Wine. I have so many ideas brewing already!

You know I love my tea. And you know I love my pumpkin. So when I saw a recipe for Tea-Scented Pumpkin Soup from Food & Wine, I knew immediately that I wanted to make my own variation of it as soon as possible.

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I chose to use chai tea instead of Ceylon, because I think the cinnamon, ginger, cloves and other spices in chai complement pumpkin perfectly. And because I know how annoying peeling and chopping winter squash can be, I chose to roast the pumpkin first. Roasted pumpkin flesh is a lot easier to scoop out!

I had hoped that the swirl of cream would hold its shape on the surface of the soup, but no such luck. It still added a creamy complexity that we loved, though! In fact, I might add a little more cream or milk next time to make the soup even thicker and creamier.

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Chai-Infused Pumpkin Soup

Inspired by Food & Wine

One medium-sized pumpkin, about 3-4 pounds

1/2 c water

1 T. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

6 cups water + 2 T “>Garlic Gold Italian Nuggets (or 6 cups vegetable stock)

1 c brewed chai tea

Salt and pepper to taste

Heavy cream, for drizzling (optional)

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy insides. Set the seeds aside to roast and snack on later. Place the pumpkin halves in a large baking dish, cut-side down, with a half cup of water. Roast for 45-60 minutes, or until the flesh is soft and pulls away from the peel easily. Set aside to cool, then scoop out the flesh and set aside.

Savvy Tip: To roast the seeds, rinse them and allow them to air dry. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, then spread out on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15-25 minutes at 350*F, until they start to turn brown and crispy. These are best when eaten straight out of the oven!

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, or until the onions and garlic are soft and starting to brown.

Add the pumpkin, water and Garlic Gold (or pumpkin and stock). Use an immersion blender to blend up the soup.

Savvy Tip: If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can blend the soup in batches in a food processor or blender. Only fill the processor or blender half-way up with soup for each batch, as the hot liquid will expand and will spatter out onto you if the blender is too full! After it is all blended, return the soup to the stockpot.

Bring the soup to a boil and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes. Add the tea, salt and pepper and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Serve and enjoy. If desired, drizzle some heavy cream over each bowl as a finishing touch.

Serve with a side salad and garlic knots.

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This post is part of a series featuring recipes from the FOOD & WINE archive. As a FOOD & WINE Blogger Correspondent, I was chosen to do four recipes a week from FOOD & WINE. I received a subscription to FOOD & WINE for my participation.

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