Pumpkin Soup with Creme Fraiche and Hazelnut Gremolata
Recipe from Harvest to Heat
As profiled by Caroline Ford on OurFoodShed.com
The duo behind this recipe, Barb Foulke, owner of Freddy Guys Hazelnuts and Vitaly Paley, chef & owner of Paley’s Place have worked together for years. Together, they were profiled in Harvest to Heat: Cooking with America’s Best Chefs, Farmers, and Artisans, a gorgeous cookbook that illuminates the synergetic relationship between the American farmer and chef.
Barb’s farmstead hazelnuts provide the inspiration for myriad dishes on Vitaly’s menu, both savory and sweet. This soup is satisfying in every way - creamy, but no too rich, with the natural nutty sweetness of squash and hazelnuts. Don’t forego the gremolata! The orange rind, parsley and garlic really bring this dish together.
Pumpkin Soup with Crème Fraîche and Hazelnut Gremolata
Serves 4For the Gremolata:
- ¼ cup dry-roasted hazelnuts, coarsely ground
- Zest of 1 orange
- ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- One 3-pound pie pumpkin, peeled, halved, and seeded, or 2 cups cooked, pureed pumpkin
- 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup roasted hazelnuts
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon hot sauce
- ½ cup crème fraîche, for garnish
For the gremolata, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the soup, heat the oven to 350F. If using a whole pumpkin, lay it cut side up on a roasting pan and put 1 tablespoon butter in the center of each half. Season generously with salt and pepper, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and roast in the oven until the flesh is very tender, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, use a kitchen spoon to scoop the pumpkin flesh out and set aside. Discard the skins. In a small coffee grinder or food processor, process the nuts and oil into a paste.
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the onions have softened and become translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in the cooked pumpkin and hazelnut-oil paste. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, about 10 minutes. Season with the lime juice and hot sauce. Carefully transfer the soup to a blender and liquefy (working in batches if necessary). Adjust with salt and pepper, if necessary.
Portion the hot soup into 4 bowls, garnish with a spoonful of crème fraîche and gremolata, and serve.