There are traditions which are, like certain feasts, immovable. One of them at our house involves Thanksgiving. Yes the feast day its self is a movable but the presence of Smoky Pumpkin Soup is a given tradition for the feast itself. The recipe comes from the Silver Palate Good Times cookbook so the tradition probably started around 1984. I recall when I first made it I went whole-hog and followed the recipe to the letter and cooked and pureed my pumpkin; over time and in places where pumpkin wasn’t always available I made an adaptation using canned pure pumpkin. It works just as well.
Smokey Pumpkin Soup
– serves 6
Adapted from: The Silver Palate Good Times Cook Book
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minute
6 strips of bacon fried until crisp, diced, fat reserved.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups pureed pure pumpkin
6 cups beef stock
1/2 cup Marsala*
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to tasted
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Heat butter and bacon fat in a stock pot over a medium high heat.
Briefly saute the pureed pumpkin to absorb the flavour of the bacon fat.
Add the beef stock and simmer for 25 minutes.
Add the Marsala, salt, pepper and thyme and stir combine.
Add the bacon and simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds.
* Madeira or a Dry Sherry (not cooking sherry) will do also.
Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins – The Silver Palate – 1984
It’s quick and easy and can be very comforting on any cold winter night not just at Thanksgiving.
The word for October 10th is:
Pumpkin \pŭmp′kĭn,\: [noun]
1.1 A round, often large squash with coarse, strongly flavored yellow to orange flesh, numerous seeds, and a moderately hard, usually orange rind.
1.2 Any of several plants producing these fruits, especially varieties of the species Cucurbita pepo, and also varieties of C. maxima and C. moschata.
1.3 A moderate to strong orange colour.
Alteration (influenced by –kin) of obsolete pumpion, from obsolete French pompon, popon, from Old French pepon, from Late Latin pepōn, from Latin, watermelon or gourd, from Greek, ripe, large melon.