Thursday, September 25, 2014

Time for Pumpkin Soup + Pumpkin Ale at #BrewLV

In honor of the Desert Hops International Beer Festival at the Cosmopolitan this coming weekend, a select number of bloggers were asked to present their favorite beer and food pairings. Here's mine. 'tis the season. Pumpkin season that is.



It’s the time of year when “pumpkin spice” gets tossed into everything from a four dollar coffee confection to scratch-and-sniff stickers, and from every baked good imaginable to seasonal ales.

Don’t get me wrong, I am right there on the pumpkin wagon. One year I ate so much pumpkin that I had an allergic reaction. Dead serious. So, now, during pumpkin season, I limit my pumpkin culinary creations to one per week.


Almost all of my pumpkin creations begin with pumpkin puree. Don’t buy it in a can, please. If you can wield a knife and turn on your oven, you can make your own pumpkin puree. Making pumpkin puree couldn’t be simpler.

But being the savory gal that I am, when I start to see pumpkins in my High Ground Organics CSA box and at the farmers' markets, I think beer. Well, specifically, I think about steaming pumpkin soup with a kick-ass pumpkin ale.

So, when I saw two pumpkins in my CSA box last week, I knew it was time. I also had some intriguing duck bacon from Maple Leaf Farms Duck*, who was sponsoring an online event I was coordinating. I stirred in some fresh herbs from another event sponsor - Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices - and called it dinner.


Pumpkin + bacon + herbs = the perfect match for pumpkin ale! Woohoo.


I really wanted to call this a pumpkin 'bisque'; that sounds more sexy than pumpkin 'soup'. But then I did some reading and realized that you can't categorize something as a bisque unless it has fish stock as its base. So...this is pumpkin soup made with fresh pumpkin puree.





Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Maple Leaf Farms Duck bacon (or whatever bacon you have)
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 3 C pumpkin puree (click to see how to make your own puree)
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 5 C organic chicken stock
  • 1 C beer (use whatever you have, I used Shipyard Brewing Company's Smashed Pumpkin - more on that below)
  • 1/4 C freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 t lemongrass, recommended Gourmet Garden 
  • 1/2 t ginger, recommended Gourmet Garden 
  • 1 T parsley, recommended Gourmet Garden 
  • 1 t basil, recommended Gourmet Garden 
  • 1 t cilantro, recommended Gourmet Garden 
  • freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, trimmed and diced

Procedure
In a souppot, cook the bacon pieces along with the minced garlic until the bacon begins to brown but is not crispy.



Add the pumpkin, carrots, chicken stock, beer, orange juice, and herbs to the pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the soup begins to thicken. While the soup cooks, caramelize the onion in another pan. Once the soup is finished, stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the caramelized onions.

Serve hot with slices of good bread. I love autumn!

About the beer...



Shipyard Brewing Company's Smashed Pumpkin was my beer of choice for this pot of soup. For a lighter ale, try their Pumpkinhead.

Smashed Pumpkin is a big, full-bodied beer with a surprisingly copper hue. It's actually orange!

It has an alluring aroma of pumpkin and spices such as nutmeg.

With three malts and a duo of hops, Smashed Pumpkin has delicate spice and the sweetness of fruit.

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else shares for their Desert Hops beer-food pairing. Cheers.

*DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary products from Maple Leaf Farms Duck and Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices for participating in an online blogging event #10DaysofTailgate. I was not compensated in any way – for my time, to create a recipe, or to publish positive comments. I was not required to use these products as part of my recipe. My opinions are my own.

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