Autumn is just around the corner! Want to know how I know this? When the hubby and I were at the farmers’ market last week, we bought pumpkins!! No, not the big jack-o-lantern style. Small pumpkins perfect for beer? Well, that was the hubby’s plan…but he ended up with about four cups too much pumpkin.
So, now it’s my turn. What to do with four cups of fresh pumpkin? Soup, of course, since Autumn is just on the horizon. What kind of soup? I stumbled upon a vague recipe for congee with pumpkin and decided to make it my own.
First, for those of you who are uncertain what congee is, a description. Congee is an asian rice porridge or gruel. With some adaptations, the perfect use for our leftover pumpkin. Just a warning, this is not a quick recipe, it does take some patience.
To start, heat a four quart pot over medium heat. While it is heating, dice one large onion. Then peel a two-inch piece of fresh ginger root and four cloves of garlic.
Once the pot is heated, pour in one turn of extra virgin olive oil. Add the diced onion into the pot, salt well and sweat until translucent. This will take about ten minutes. Now, grate the ginger root and garlic cloves into the pot. Stir well to marry the flavors.
While the onion was sweating, the remaining four cups or so of pumpkin got cut into quarter-inch cubes. Add into the pot with the onion, ginger root and garlic. Also add in eight cups of stock and/or water. I used half chicken broth, half water. If you want to go vegan, use vegetable broth or all water.
Season with one teaspoon of Maldon (sea salt flakes) and a teaspoon or so of five spice. Simmer over low heat. This is where the patience comes in. It will take about two hours to get nice and thick and creamy. This is well worth the wait.
Once it has reached the desired consistency, adjust the seasoning as needed. The consistency you are looking for is rich and creamy. Allow to simmer another ten minutes or so for the flavors to combine.
Serve in your favorite bowl with some chopped chives. I also served it with some pita chips to add crunch.