A Rich Semi Sweet White Pumpkin Soup For A Chilly Evening!
I published a traditional savory pumpkin soup recipe a few years ago. Today's White Chocolate and Honey Bourbon White Pumpkin Soup is quite different. White Pumpkin has a naturally sweet flavor, like ripe Mexican Calabaza. The white pumpkin flavor is more gentle than a standard orange hybrid pumpkin. Both white chocolate and bourbon are a nice match for the flavor of white pumpkin. Only a small amount of spice is needed to flavor this soup or the delicate flavors will be lost. Honey naturally sweetens this soup. Honey is a perfect match for the bourbon flavor.
To make a mini white pumpkin soup bowl, the small pumpkin is cut open from the top. The loose pulp and seeds are scraped out with a spoon. The pumpkin is baked, till it becomes tender, then most of the pumpkin meat is carefully scraped out. I do say carefully, because one hole in the thin white pumpkin skin will render the pumpkin shell useless as a natural bowl.
In the old days of fine dining, serving a pumpkin soup in a raw pumpkin shell was taboo. A raw pumpkin shell is not integral to a soup, because it cannot be eaten. Good chefs cook the pumpkin shell soup bowls. After the soup is eaten, the customer has the option of splitting the pumpkin shell open and scraping the nice tasting pumpkin meat from the cooked shell.
I have baked over 400 mini pumpkins at a time as a saucier at yacht clubs for large dinner part events. Cooking 400 mini pumpkins at one time to perfection does take some skill. If the pumpkin flesh is undercooked, it will not puree smooth. If the pumpkin is overcooked, then the mini pumpkin shell will be easily torn.
Today's white pumpkin soup is one of a kind! The soup is not too sweet, so it can be served as an appetizer in a multi course formal dinner. Many traditional European formal multi course dinners feature a dolce item early in a multi course dinner that revitalizes guests with energy for conversation. White Chocolate and Honey Bourbon White Pumpkin Soup can also be served on its own as a dessert course. Either way, this soup is a must try!
*This entire recipe yields one portion. (About 2 cups)
Mini White Pumpkin Preparation:
Step 1: Select a mini white pumpkin that is about 5" tall. The pumpkin must be stable when stood upright.
Cut a large circle, around the stem on the top of the white pumpkin to make a bowl and a cap.
Pry the cap off of the bowl.
Scrape the loose pulp and seeds out of the white pumpkin bowl and off of the cap.
Step 2: Place 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter in the white pumpkin bowl.
Place the cap back on the bowl.
Step 3: Place the white pumpkin on a roasting pan.
Bake the pan in a 290ºF oven.
Slowly roast the pumpkin till the pumpkin meat becomes tender and sweet.
*Do not overcook the white pumpkin or the skin will easily tear! By using a lower baking temperature, the time window for when the white pumpkin is finished baking will be longer and there will be less of a chance of overcooking the white pumpkin shell. The pumpkin meat will also become "sweeter" when a lower temperature is used.
Step 4: Allow the baked white pumpkin to cool to room temperature.
Pour the butter from inside the baked white pumpkin shell, into a small container and set it aside.
Step 5: Carefully use a spoon the scrape most of the pumpkin meat out of the shell. Try to leave a 3/16" to 1/4" layer of pumpkin meat in the shell, so the pumpkin shell walls are not weak.
Scrape some of the pumpkin meat off of the cap.
Set the pumpkin meat aside in a container.
Keep the white pumpkin shell soup bowl and cap warm on a stove top.
*If a hole is poked in the white pumpkin shell, then just serve the soup in a small soup bowl!
White Chocolate and Honey Bourbon White Pumpkin Soup:
Step 1: Heat a sauce pot over medium low heat.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
Add the reserved pumpkin baking butter. (About 1/2 tablespoon)
Add an equal amount of flour while constantly stirring with a whisk. (About 2 1/2 to 3 teaspoons.)
Stir the roux till it becomes a white color, with very little hazelnut aroma.
Step 2: Add 2 cups of milk, while whisking.
Add 1/2 cup of water.
Add the reserved white pumpkin meat.
Step 3: Add 1 small pinch of sea salt.
Add 1 small pinch of white pepper.
Add 1 small pinch of allspice.
Add 1 small pinch of cinnamon.
Add 1 small pinch of nutmeg.
Occasionally whisk the ingredients as the soup comes to a simmer. The soup will be a very thin consistency and the volume.
Simmer the soup for 10 minutes.
Step 4: Remove the pot from the heat.
Puree the soup with an electric immersion blender, food processor or blender.
Step 5: Return the puree soup to a sauce pot over medium low heat.
Add 1 1/2 ounces of sour mash bourbon whiskey.
Gently simmer and reduce till the soup is a medium thin consistency that gan coat a spoon. (Tbe volume should be about 2 cups to 2 1/4 cups.)
Step 6: Add 1 tablespoon of chopped white chocolate.
Add 1 teaspoon of honey.
Stir till the chocolate melts.
Step 7: Remove the pot from the heat.
Place the white pumpkin shell bowl on a plate or in a shallow soup bowl.
Ladle the soup into the pumpkin shell bowl. (Their may be some extra soup that will not fit in the shell.)
Place the pumpkin cap on the white pumpkin soup bowl.
Dust the plate with 1 pinch of cinnamon.
White Chocolate and Honey Bourbon White Pumpkin Soup has a very satisfying elegant flavor!