My sister’s Christmas card this year included a recipe for Hot Toddies. Sean and I always love a good cocktail so Hot Toddies it was for cocktail hour. It also inspired a warm winter dinner. The refrigerator is almost completely empty after Thanksgiving and not quite time to buy for Christmas yet. This soup is a product of what was in the house and the desire for something warm.
It is rare that we get rainy days in Hawaii where it is pouring all day and the temperature stays in the low 70s. Today was one of those days. Living in Hawaii makes you appreciate rainy days in a new way. When the sun is shining it’s hard to stay inside and clean, cook or organize your gadget drawer. (I know we’ve got it so hard don’t we…)
I adore lemon and this soup has a strong citrus zing. Cut back on the lemon juice if you aren’t a huge citrus fan. As with almost all of my cooking I am a taste and adjust kind of cook. If you aren’t comfortable with tossing ingredients willy-nilly into a pot, soups are a great way to start to adjust your pallet and eye for seasoning. Start by adding just a little at a time and keep adding until you think it is just right.
My secret for browned roasted vegetables is to heat the pan in the oven while it is pre heating. When you put the vegetables onto a hot pan it browns them quickly. I made a vegan version but regular substitutes should work just as well. I cooked the other half of pumpkin at the same time and froze the pulp for another day. Double the recipe if you are cooking for a crowd. This made just enough for 2 for dinner and a little left over. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Carrot Soup
½ small pumpkin
4 carrots, rough cut into 2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, rough chopped into large pieces
3 garlic cloves unpeeled
salt and pepper
Preheat oven and roasting pan to 350 degrees. Remove seeds from pumpkin half. Rub inside of pumpkin with a little olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle the rest of the vegetables with olive oil and salt and pepper lightly. Place pumpkin cut side down on hot roasting pan. Place remaining vegetables on pan around pumpkin. Roast for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are fork tender and pumpkin is soft.
2 cups of water or enough to over vegetables in a pot
1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base (or 1 chicken bouillon cube)
2 cups stock
Separate roasted garlic from vegetables and remove paper. Remove roasted pumpkin from skin. Place pumpkin pulp and roasted vegetables in a medium pot. Fill pot with enough water to cover everything. Add bouillon to pot. Bring to a boil. Let the pot boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Blend entire pot with and immersion blender. If it is too thick add a little more water.
2 oz (¼ container) Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese (or regular cream cheese)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
salt and pepper
Add cream cheese and blend until fully incorporated and soup is smooth and creamy. The rest of the ingredients can be added to suit your taste. I recommend adding a little at a time and tasting as you go. Serve immediately or refrigerate. This soup is even better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld and mellow.