Monday, November 20, 2006
*This is an old post from the Chez Pim archives. I’m a little bit overwhelmed at the moment, so hopefully this season-appropriate post from last year can keep you occupied for a bit until I’m back here chez moi.*
This is a pumpkin with many names. It’s called Potimarron in French, or Hokkaido Squash in English, or Kuri Pumpkin (from Uchiki Kuri in Japanese), I’ve also heard it referred to as Chestnut Pumpkin, or even Red-skin Kabocha. I first encountered it in France, where the name Potimarron combined the two words Potiron, for pumpkin, and Marron, for chestnut, which are the two characteristic flavors of this particular pumpkin. Or is it a squash? I never can tell the difference. Perhaps someone could enlighten me?
Potimarron –which, yes, by any other name would be as delicious- makes a perfect bowl of soup. The cooked flesh is sweet but much less so than its cousin Kabocha, making it perfect for a savory soup, and the chestnut flavor adds an unexpected complexity to the simple soup. It’s also so very easy to make, using just a few ingredients, and doesn’t require any tool more sophisticated than a hand blender or a normal blender to make a perfectly smooth soup.
You could also puree it with a tiny amount of cream, like we did when in Mougins last year. The puree was perfectly silky without needing a few passes through the Chinois. We paired the gorgeous orange purée with just as gorgeous seared foie gras.
This time, I made the simple soup to warm a cool day and garnished with a handful of croutons and a few drops of sage brown butter. How simple, and how delicious.