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Tired I sat on my be after a long day at work. It was the first time I felt cold enough to want to turn the heat on; so I did and like every other apartment I have been living in, the heat didn’t really work. I was cold, I felt a little lonely and I didn’t know I would catch a flu right that night.

*tidun* (this is what methinks is the Facebook chat sound). It was my mum. We talked a little, I told her about my day at work and she told me about her day piling up wood, and just by reading about her day I felt a little better. I laid down on my bed and imagined being at my parents’, in Italy.

When it’s getting chilly, my mom always makes sure we have wood stocked for the approaching winter. The wood is brought just in front of the house with a tractor and we have to stockpile it. Usually my mom and I do this together and after a few hours of hard work we go back inside and sometimes we drink a cup of hot chocolate.

Those memories and these days made me think about another tradition which we started just a few years back: eating Pumpkin Soup with Cinnamon and Herbs. I am not sure if my parents see this as a tradition, but I certainly feel like it has become: preparing this wholesome, warm and filling soup, which has become sort of a family dish by now. It reminds me of the fog crawling down the mountains, when I felt like we lived in a cloud and like the world was so far away, of the sounds of the cold wind blowing through the valley and of the smell of that wood.

I didn’t get the chance to recreate it until today. I decided to take a few hours of this beautiful sunny but chilly day to cook our soup and feel a little closer to my family.

Pumpkin Soup with Cinnamon and Herbs (serves 2)

300 g Pumpkin

1 big Potato

1 Onion (preferably the yellow one)

1 clove of Garlic

500 ml Vegetable Stock

a bunch of fresh Basil

a bunch of Parsley

a bunch of Thyme

a bunch of Sage

1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp Cinnamon

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

After removing the seeds and the skin of the pumpkin, dice them making sure the dices are of the same size. Peel the potatoes and cut them in the same size as well.

In a small saucepan prepare your vegetable stock; you will add it to the pumpkin and the potato later.

Chop up the onion and crush the garlic. Pour the olive oil in a large pot and put in on the heat. Add the onion and the garlic and sauté it until the onion becomes golden and translucent.

At this point add the pumpkin and the potato. Sauté these as well for approx. a minute or two so that they start softening up. Start adding the vegetable stock little by little.

Take all the herbs and tie them together with a thread. Put your bouquet of herbs in the pot and make sure the end of the thread hangs outside the pot, so that you can take them out easily later.

Turn the heat down a little and allow the soup to boil for 30 minutes approx., until the diced pumpkin and potato have softened up completely.

Take out the herbs and pour your soup into a blender. Blend until the soup will look creamy and silky. Add salt and freshly grounded pepper to taste and finally add the cinnamon which will give your soup a special, warm and autumn-y flavor.

Just before serving drizzle a little olive oil on each bowl or plate.

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