RECIPE: Fairytale Pumpkin Soup

Posted at 11:27 AM, Nov 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-08 12:27:51-05

Chef Andrew Longres of Bluestem whips up their fairytale pumpkin soup.

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Fairytale pumpkin soup with Angostura Meringues
Servings: 10 - 12
To make the pumpkin soup:
1 5 pound fairytale pumpkin, cleaned skinned and sliced thinly
1 1/2 pound butter
1 1/2 tablespoons soup spice (recipe follows)
3 Jonathan apples, peeled, cored and cut into pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 large sachet of thyme, sage and bay leaf
2 1/2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
2 cups cream
1/2 tablespoon soup spice (to finish the soup)
Champagne vinegar
Place the butter in a very large sauce pan and melt on high. Sweat the apples and onions in the butter until translucent and the apples are falling apart. Add the pumpkin and the spice and toast the spices while the pumpkin is starting to sweat. Add the garlic and herb sachet and continue to sweat. Add a lid to the pot and turn to low. The pumpkin will start to cook and the lid will act as a pressure cooker and allow it to stew in it's our juices and concentrate the flavors in the pot.  Slowly simmer until the pumpkin is soft and mushy. If the pot gets dry add 1 pint of water and continue cooking. Once mushy add the cream and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and blend on high until the soup is smooth. While blending, add the rest of the soup spice. While cooking, the flavors in the spice get muddled and blending it into the soup makes the spices pop out in the final soup.  Season with salt, sugar, and champagne vinegar. The soup should taste balanced not sweet. We can add the sweetness later in the garnish. Strain through a fine sieve and cool down in an ice bath.
Angostura meringue:
1 cup egg whites
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
8 shots of angostura bitters
Place the egg whites and both sugars in a Kitchen Aid bowl and place over a double boiler with simmering water. Cook until the mixture is hot and the sugar is dissolved.  Place on the mixer and whip until stiff peaks. Add the eight shots of angostura and mix a bit longer.  Place in a piping bag. Pipe the mixture into "Hershey Kisses" shapes (about 2 inches in diameter), onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 7 hours at 200 degrees until crispy.
Quince and pear chutney:
1 pint dice quince (small dice)
1 pint dice pear (small dice)
½ cup honey
¼ cup champagne vinegar
In a large sauté pan or heat a small amount of oil until hot. Add the quince and pear dice and roast on high until about ¾ cooked (a little color is okay, it is flavor). Add the honey and champagne vinegar and reduce until dry and the quince and pear is cooked. Season with fleur de sel and cool down on a sheet pan. Make sure the mixture is sweet, sour, salty and fruity all in one bite. Refrigerate.
Soup spice:
2 tablespoons coriander
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground clove
For garnish:
Toasted pepitas
Dried cherries
To serve:
Place a scoop (approximately 2 or 3 tablespoons) of the chutney on the side of a large soup bowl. Pour in a serving of the soup. Garnish with dried cherries, pepitas and a meringue or two.