Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Cardamom Crème Fraîche & Prosciutto Cracklings
Kevin Mitchell, Culinary Institute of Charleston
9 lb. Fairytale or other cooking pumpkin, yielding approximately
9 cups of roasted flesh
3½ Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 Fuji apples (about 22 oz.), cored and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
7 shallots (about 6 oz.), peeled and cut in half
4 sprigs thyme
1½ qts. low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 Tbs. kosher salt, or to taste
Cardamom Crème Fraîche (recipe follows)
Prosciutto Cracklings (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Wash pumpkin. Cut off the top, scoop out seeds, and remove strings. Cut into wedges and pierce flesh with a fork multiple times. Rub the wedges with 1½ tablespoons of olive oil. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast them in the oven about one hour to one hour and 20 minutes, or until tender.
Place apples and shallots on a separate parchment-lined baking sheet and toss them with one tablespoon of olive oil. Lay thyme sprigs on top and roast in the oven about 30 minutes, or until tender.
Remove pumpkin and apples from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Once pumpkin has cooled, scoop the flesh from the skin.
Heat the final tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add roasted pumpkin, apples, and shallots. Cook over medium heat for one minute. Add one quart of chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes.
Working in batches, put the mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain it through a fine mesh sieve back into the soup pot. Add remaining 1/2-quart chicken broth. Warm on medium heat for five minutes. Stir in nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Divide soup between pre-warmed bowls. Finish with a spoon of crème fraîche and a sprinkling of prosciutto cracklings.
For the Prosciutto Cracklings:
3 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place prosciutto on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp. Cool. Crumble and reserve for garnish.
For the Cardamom Crème Fraîche:
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
Combine crème fraîche and cardamom. Stir until blended and smooth. Refrigerate.