This marks my first entry into the Recipes to Rival pool... Created by Temperance of High On The Hog and Lori of Lipsmacking Goodness, R2R is basically a group of people all over the world who come together every month to try (and discuss in the forum) a chosen savoury recipe. A recipe that it supposed to take us all out of our comfort zones if I may add.
And boy was this one a tough one picked by Meg! For one, as soon as I had a first glance at the recipe I had a moment of doubt if I had bitten off more than I could chew. Micepoix? Vita Prep? Some of the stuff listed on it were absolutely alien to me... so alien that I had to do a quick google and "translate" the recipe before I calmed down. Secondly, I could tell that from the "foreign" ingredients listed like miso and creame fraiche, it was going to be one darn expensive soup. Third, there were so many darn steps (I'm a one pot soup kind of gal).
But it was a good thing I stuck through - the taste was just amazing with many different layers to it. The miso gave a good after-twist to the pumpkin. A tad rich for our tastebuds (we could only down a small bowl at a go) but I'm guessing just perfect for those Autumn/Winter months over there.
Taken from a show called Top Chef (which we don't get over here but it does sound exciting), you can view the original recipe here. I took the liberty to switch up a few things based on what I had available.
Squash Soup with Vanilla Cream topping
2 Celery - chopped
1 Carrot - chopped
A handful shallots - chopped
3 pips Garlic - halved
2 tablespoons Butter
1 tablespoons Honey
3 tablespoons Miso slurry (A mix of a bit of miso and water. Note: I also tried on an earlier round using the dried packet soup version that was pre-prepared with bonito flakes which switched its flavour a bit)
Olive oil for rubbing
Salt & Pepper
Sprinkle of Italian herbs (Note: the original calls for a fresh sage leaf, so use that if you have it)
C) Soup stock - according to your prefered soup consistency
(Note: I used my leftover dark chicken soup stock. On hindsight, a clear one would have been prettier)
D) Vanilla Cream
A teaspoon of yogurt (Note: a substitute for that tang you get if you use real creame fraiche)
Two drops vanilla essence
1.Rub oil on pumpkin and sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. Arrange pumpkin pieces on tray and roast in oven (200 celsius) until its nice, soft and caramelly. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh, smush it and keep aside.
2. In a saucepan, sweat down (until they turn translucent) the mirepoix veggies with butter. Deglaze with honey, stir and add in miso. Season with salt and pepper.
3. For the soup - combine the pumpkin flesh and soup stock to desired consistency. Add mirepoix and cook a couple of minutes. Taste and season with salt & pepper if necessary. Blend with a food processor and strain.
4. Whip all the ingredients for the vanilla cream together and spoon a bit over the soup.