Try a Delicious Pumpkin Bisque from Chef Christian Mailloux
By Christian Mailloux, Chef and owner
Red Fire Grille, 400 N. Queen Street, Palestine
1 large, fleshy pie pumpkin (4 lbs) cut into large pieces, seeds, skin included
Salt & ground black pepper to taste
Light brown sugar to taste
Nutmeg to taste
Allspice to taste
Cinnamon to taste
2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
Remove stem from the pumpkin and cut into large pieces. Place the large pieces of pumpkin with the seeds, skin, and all in a large pot and fill with water (about 6 cups). Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer. After 30 to 40 minutes, check the pumpkin for tenderness (ability to pierce the flesh easily with a fork).
When tender, remove the pumpkin from the water and allow it to cool to room temperature. Save the cooking liquid. Strain the liquid with a fine mesh strainer (or a clean kitchen towel will also work). Set aside the pumpkin liquid.
When the pieces are cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to gently scrape the seeds and fiber away from the flesh. Clean them under cool running water and dry on paper towels. Set aside. This will be used as a garnish.
The skin should peel away from the pumpkin. Remove as much as you can. (If any is missed, the blender takes care of it.) In a blender, place a 50/50 ratio of pumpkin and the reserved liquid, 3/4 full. Work your way from the slowest speed to the fastest until smooth. Pour mixture into a large soup pot and repeat until all the pumpkin is blended.
Place the soup back on the stove on medium heat. Before you begin to add any seasonings, check the mixture for sweetness and adjust it with brown sugar to taste. Add the remaining seasonings to your personal taste. Allow the soup to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss the melted butter with the pumpkin seeds in a bowl and season with salt. Spread on a baking sheet, place in the hot oven, and cook until golden, about 8 to 12 minutes. When done, remove and cool. Garnish your soup with the toasted seeds and enjoy.