This is a story of culinary triumph and sheer stupidity. It all began a few weeks back when my wife and I were visiting her sister in Wisconsin over the weekend. On Saturday afternoon the women went off to pick apples at a local apple orchard while the guys stayed behind to watch a football game. When the women returned they had not only apples, but pumpkins as well, and since I am a fan of seasonal cuisine, I began thinking about making one of my favorite dishes which is Southwest Pumpkin Soup.
My particular take on Southwest Pumpkin Soup goes back a few years to a cold and rainy December night in Washington, DC. We had a couple of pumpkins around the flat that I needed to use for something and when my wife received an invitation to a big White House doo, I saw my chance to have some fun in the kitchen.
The invitation had come to her because she was “somebody” in the Pentagon, and while these things usually include spouses, this one didn’t. I thought it must be because I am well known as a “counter-revolutionary element”, you know, an “enemy of the people” who engages in “counter-revolutionary hooliganism”… or maybe there were only so many spaces available… At any rate, off she went to enjoy music and White House Christmas décor, and I got work in the kitchen. Late that night when she returned home, I had several variations for her to sample, and I am happy to say that we both had the same favorite. It’s really quite simple to make: You cook fresh pumpkin and then puree it. Then you sauté a chopped onion, minced garlic and minced jalapeno. Then you add ancho chili powder, cumin and cinnamon, the pumpkin puree and vegetable or chicken stock and salt and pepper and simmer for 20 or 30 minutes during which time, the broth will thicken quite a bit. After this, you simply puree the whole thing, check your seasoning and serve garnished with cilantro or green onion… or whatever you like.
It will be a home run.
You can also vary this basic recipe by adding black beans or ground chicken or… whatever sounds good.
That is the dish I set out to make this past Sunday afternoon to serve as a starter course for Sunday dinner. Things went just fine until I came to the part where you puree the pumpkin. As will sometimes happen when using an immersion blender to puree something like pumpkin or squash, the blender became clogged with bits that get stuck above the blade, so I began pushing them out with my left index finger, something I have done far more times than I can count. Yet on this particular occasion, something happened… My grip on the handle slipped slightly and I hit the little “on” button inadvertently. Pushing the button with your finger in the blender is really not something I recommend.
Could this be the reason that the instructions say you should always unplug the device when cleaning? Who knew?
I’ll spare you the unpleasant details; suffice it to say that I don’t think there was any permanent damage, but I sure was lucky that all of my posts this week were already written, because I’ve been one-handed all week. As for the Southwest Pumpkin Soup, I can tell you that this recipe is such a sure-fire success that even if you run you finger through the blender in the first step, it’s going to be a hit at dinner time, even if you have to get somebody else to do the steps as you tell them, which you will have to do because an incident between a finger and a blender takes hours to stop bleeding.
Oh and yes, I’ll be following the safety instructions from now on.
Sadly, although I had intended to have a photo of the finished product to share with you in this post, when time came to take the photo, I completely forgot about it; I guess I had stupidity on my mind.