Creamy Ginger Squash Soup With Portobello Mushrooms, Shrimp And Thai Chili Peppers

By Michael Harris-Arzon, The Simplistic Professional

Soup-puree pumpkin with mushrooms and shrimp on board

Fall is here, and even though we don’t get the changing of the leaves that I have become so used to seeing, due to all the years we lived back east.  My body recognizes the time of year and I start craving soups and other comfort foods.

The thing about making homemade soup, is that the possibilities are endless.  No matter the base, vegetable choice you make nor the type of meat matters, when it comes to creating homemade soup.

There are two trains of thought when it comes to soups.  The first, is that they should always be pureed into a creamy masterpiece.  The other train of thought, is that soups should have texture and depth.

I like to combine the two.  It took me years, before I could make homemade soup that made a person sit up and take notice.  The secret it seems, is all in the base of the soup and never lacking ingredients.  If you try and use too few ingredients, then your soup will be bland and unappealing.  It takes time, patience and love to develop the rich, deep flavor profiles that makes a person want more.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Roasted Acorn Squash
  • 2 Cups Roasted Pumpkin
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock, Low Sodium
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 5 Tbs. Butter, Salted
  • 2 Large Yellow Onions. Chopped Small
  • 1 1/2 Cups Portobello Mushrooms, Sliced Medium
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped Fine
  • 2 Tbs. Fresh Ginger, Chopped Fine
  • 20-30 Medium Shrimp, Cleaned and Shells Removed
  • 2 Thai Chilis, Seeded and Chopped Fine
  • Sprig Fresh Rosemary
  • 2 Tbs. Paprika
  • 3 Tbs. Fresh Parsley, Chopped Medium
  • 1/2 Tsp. Fresh Nutmeg
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Shelled

Steps

  1. In a large stock pot, add a drizzle of olive oil, 2 tbs. of butter, your chopped onions, 1 clove of chopped garlic, 1 tbs. chopped ginger, 1 tbs. paprika, nutmeg, a pinch of cracked black pepper and your chopped Thai chilis.  Cook over medium-high heat until your onions are translucent.
  2. Once your onions have sweated, add your roasted pumpkin, squash and half of your chicken broth.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 30 minutes.  Stirring occasionally.  Cooking Tip:  Sweating onions simply means that you cook them over medium heat in butter or oil until they become translucent.
  3. Next, add your remaining chicken stock and heavy cream.  Bring to a low boil and the blend with an emersion blender until smooth and creamy.  Reduce your heat to low and let simmer while your prepare the remaining ingredients.
  4. In a large skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil and 1 tbs of butter.  Over medium heat, melt the butter.  Once your butter is melted, add your sliced portobello mushrooms and cook until tender.  This is one instance of where you need not worry about over crowding the pan when cooking mushrooms.
  5. Add your mushrooms and fresh parsley to your soup and stir.
  6. Using the same skillet, add your remains 2 tbs. of butter, 1 tbs. of chopped ginger, 1 tbs. chopped garlic, your sprig of rosemary, a pinch of cracked black pepper and your shrimp.  Cook over medium-high heat until your shrimp have just turned pink and curled up.  Immediately remove from the heat to stop the cooking process.
  7. Finally, to plate your dish, in a large shallow bowl, add your soup, a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds and 5-6 shrimp (per serving).
  8. Enjoy this hearty, updated classic fall soup as you enjoy the changing colors of the season with friends and family.
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