Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gourmet Soup du Jour for a Blizzardy Night!

I think I have perfected what is a delicious Autumn/Winter Soup to warm the soul & heart!

It's my Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & carrot soup! Yes PointsPlus® Weight Watchers you too can eat your big hearts out without feeling guilty but enjoying all the pleasure! (Don't You get any ideas!)

Run to your local hottie grocer and get;

2/3 can of Pumpkin
2 small to med Carrots - peeled and cubed
2 Sweet potato - peeled & cubed
2 stalks Celery - wash 'em well and cube them
1 Parsnip - peeled and cubed
1 Sweet yellow onion - cube it up
1 small Fennel bulb - cut & reserve fronds for garnish..chop it up!
1TBS of Olive Oil

1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 a fresh grated Nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
5 whole Star anise
1/4 cup Maple syrup
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
Sea Salt & pepper to taste.. I used about a TBS of both
4.5 cups Vegetable or Chicken stock plus 1 cup to thin as needed

In a stock pot or heavy bottomed deep pot preheat oil over medium heat. Add cubed parsnips, carrot, celery, onion and cook till onion is clear/veggies start getting soft.

Add sweet potato, spices & stir it up

Add pumpkin then stock and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling lower heat and cover. Cook till potatoes are soft about 30 mins or so.

Once potatoes are soft remove all 5 whole star anise seeds.

If using an immersion blender carefully blend once you add pumpkin.
If using a regular blender/food processor carefully ladle out in batches and blend. (I suggest using a blender as it comes out creamier and we know how I like it creamy!) add veg stock as needed to thin it out a bit.

Once all blended and back in the pot add maple syrup, salt & pepper and stir

This soup is one of my favorites and it's really great the day of but once it has sat for a day is even more brilliant! Quick and easy (don’t you get any ideas) and delicioso!

For you freaks out there who like a little decadence (Weight Watchers close your eyes) I like to add about a half cup of creme fraiche and it adds a delicious richness!

I like to serve it with

Grilled Blue Cheese croutons:

Crusty Whole Wheat Sourdough or your favorite bread White or Even Arnold's Sandwich Thins even work for you WW's!

Blue cheese/laughing cow make a blue cheese triangle that’s low points & probably just as delicious as the real thing Weight Watchers!!

Heat grill pan or nonstick pan over medium high heat.

Pam® the bottom of the pan if using Pam®. If not using Pam® leave pan ungreased for the moment.

Assemble blue cheese sandwiches by spreading generous amounts of blue cheese between two slices of bread.

Once assembled butter top of sandwich and lay it butter side down on the pan.

Place heavy plate or use spatula to press the sandwich down.

Let grill for 3-5 mins till bottom side is nice an brown..if using butter as you flip the sandwich place a small pat down in pan underneath sandwich as you flip.

Cook for another 2 mins.

Place on a cutting board and let cook for a couple mins.

Once cooled cut off crusts and cut into cute triangles to place in soup as a garnish with pieces of the fennel fronds!! Uh-mazing!!

Deliciously Living,

Michael Muñoz
The Gay Gourmet™

©Michael Muñoz 2011

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