So as I shared on SYW Week 48 , we had a nice quiet Thanksgiving last week. Originally, Mr. Obscure wanted to go out for Thanksgiving dinner, but I thought this was the perfect opportunity to test out our new induction oven. It’s been awhile since I cooked anything other than a Blue Apron recipe.
I have been letting the boy plan one meal a week. I asked him to come up with something for Thanksgiving. He wanted a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Feast. I told him that would do for lunch, but we had to have something a bit more substantial for dinner.
He suggested an authentic 1621 dinner. I accepted the challenge, which actually was not challenging at all. The only things they had in 1621 Plymouth, it seems, were meat, more meat, fish and seafood, corn, beans, squash, onions and water. There wasn’t any flour or sugar for pies and potatoes and sweet potatoes hadn’t been imported (or stolen) from parts farther south yet. There wasn’t any oil or butter either. There wasn’t any beer or wine, but that just wouldn’t do. I allowed wine at my table.
I decided a hearty soup was in order to go with the Charlie Brown Lunch. I remembered a soup from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home which was one of my favorites. The book wasn’t accessible, as most of our books are still in boxes. After we moved into the condo this summer we realized our bookcases in the old house were built in and so we hadn’t any place now to put our books. Mr. Obscure and I are two very opinionated individuals so it takes us awhile to compromise on anything. Then Mr. Obscure always insists on visiting every shop that sells whatever it is we are considering, in this case bookcases, and comparing and contrasting. And then sleeping on it and doing an internet search and then shopping around again. It’s all rather exhausting and time consuming. We finally settled on some wood bookcases with a desk and file cabinet that would turn our spare room into a study. They finally arrived today! I am so thrilled to finally unpack my books and to have A Room of One’s Own.
I made the soup from memory. I didn’t have dried porcini mushrooms or any mushrooms of any kind so I sent Mr. Obscure to the Farmer’s Market. He came home with shiitake. I’m sure they didn’t have that in Plymouth 1621, but it would do. I sautéed some onions and the mushrooms in a little broth (no oil).
I then added a can of Organic Pumpkin Puree. I tossed in a little sage, a dash each of cinnamon and nutmeg. I then stirred in some balsamic vinegar and more pre-made vegetable broth to fill the pot and let cook. When it was done I served with salt and pepper. I usually add a dollop of greek yogurt to make it creamy, but just skipped it this time. It doesn’t seem I took a picture of the soup, but that was the highlight of the day for me. It was warming and satisfying and a lovely deep orange color.
Pumpkin Soup a la Obscure
1 white onion diced
1-2 cloves garlic minced
dash nutmeg and cinnamon
Mushrooms, a handful fresh or dried porcini
6 cups vegetable broth, water or Apple Juice
sage, a pinch or two
1 can Pumpkin Puree 10 oz
1-2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar or Sherry
If using dried porcini mushrooms put these in heatproof bowl or cup and cover with boiling water. Let soak.
If using fresh mushrooms: chop mushrooms and sautée in a little olive oil with the onions until softened and mushrooms have darkened. Add garlic, stir and cook 30 seconds. Add sage and cook for 2 minutes, add the balsamic or sherry and stir to mix. Add the liquid to the pot and bring to a simmer. Stir in the pumpkin puree, cinnamon and nutmeg. Heat 5-10 minutes
If using dried porcini mushrooms: remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon or fork, saving the water, and add to soup. Strain the liquid through a cheese cloth, coffee filter or paper towel and add liquid to soup. Stir.
Season with salt and pepper. For a creamier soup add 1-2 tbsp of greek yogurt to each bowl.
(adapted from Pumpkin and Porcini Soup, p.35, Moosewood Restaurant Cooks At Home, The Moosewood Collective, Simon and Schuster, 1994)