It may be the shortest month, but the cold and dreary days of February seem to drag on and on. But something can be done to beat those winter doldrums and it comes in a bowl or mug. Hot, comforting and deeply satisfying, soup is the best cure I know for the winter blues, a nasty chill, or maybe just an empty belly. For the next few weeks, I’ll share some of my favorite winter soups in celebration of the month my friend and fellow soup aficionado Corrie charmingly calls “Soupruary.”
Pumpkin soup has always been one of my favorites. Silky, sweet and soothing, a creamy pumpkin puree, lightly spiced and served piping hot is hard to improve upon. So when a friend suggested the addition of shrimp to my old standby, I was dubious. Why mess with success?
I needn’t have been concerned. Creamy mellow pureed pumpkin, brightly spiced, turns out to be a spectacular landscape for the firm, buttery texture of America’s favorite crustacean, pushing the shrimp to the forefront without sacrificing what makes pumpkin soup so good in the first place.
Using fresh shrimp from my favorite fish monger (that’s right, I have a favorite fish monger), pureed pumpkin I processed and froze back in November, and chives snipped from my countertop herb garden, this soup put my resources to great use and was just the thing to kick off this soup-ful month.
Spiced Pumpkin and Shrimp Soup
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups pumpkin, pureed
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives
In a heavy pot, saute onion and garlic in butter until onion becomes soft.
Add carrots, ginger, cumin and salt and cook another minute or so.
Add broth and pumpkin, stir well and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
Puree with an immersion blender (or working in batches with a countertop blender) until nearly smooth.
Add milk and simmer another 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and chives.
Remove from heat and serve (I garnished mine here with a crouton and a bit of chevre).