Edgar’s Pumpkin Soup
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe.
The soup starts with a Rougette, a pumpkin grown from the seeds of another picked in France that may or may not have been smuggled into this country by Pauline’s son Jerry last fall. Monsieur Rougette is a deep, dark orange, the hardest pumpkin I have ever encountered.
No ordinary knife will cut into Monsieur and so darting into the crisp fall evening, I ferry the orange globe under my arm and over to Jerry’s, hoping he can penetrate the flesh. He is napping in his chair as I rap gently on his door. Awakened by the tapping, he lets me in and we make our way to the kitchen. Out of the drawer comes a giant meat cleaver and an equally large rubber mallet. As he hammers and saws through Monsieur Rougette, I am flipping through a magazine when Jerry nonchalantly mentions that “Exhibit #2 is the best meat cleaver ever – cuts through everything. Not only was it useful for committing murder, it’s great for hacking up Rougettes.”
I put down the magazine. “What did you say?” I ask him, not quite sure I am hearing him correctly. He solemnly shows me the cleaver handle, marked “Plaintiff Exhibit #2”. Apparently Wilson, his next door neighbor who once worked in the Detroit police department, helped himself to the cleaver after a murder trial was over and the murderer was successfully behind bars (one hopes). As he is prone to do, Wilson eventually gave the cleaver to Jerry.
“It’s perfectly good,” Jerry assures me as I search his face for any trace of humor. “There was only a smidgeon of blood in the corner that I eventually scrubbed off,” he says, as Monsieur Rougette is hacked to pieces. I take the remains of the butchered pumpkin home along with a fistful of fresh dill and somewhat reluctantly cook them into soup, vague thoughts of Edgar Allen Poe lingering in the back of my mind.
- 1 hacked up Rougette or other tasty pumpkin, seeds removed
- Olive oil spray
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp ginger
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 3 tbsp fresh dill
- 2 green onions, chopped
- ¼ cup cream
- ¼ cup dill pickle flavored pumpkin seeds
- In a large pan roast the pumpkin chunks sprayed with olive oil and sprinkled with freshly ground pepper at 350 degrees for about an hour, until fork tender
- In a large, deep pot sauté the chopped onions in butter until translucent
- Add the chopped garlic and sauté another 3-5 minutes
- Add the roasted pumpkin, skin removed, and any pan liquid
- Add the broth and dried spices
- Cook for ½ hr on low, stirring occasionally
- Blend soup in food processor until smooth
- Add in fresh dill and sea salt, and cook another 5 minutes
- Ladle into bowl, sprinkle with green onion, any leftover dill, handful of pumpkin seeds
- Drizzle cream on top