Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Pumpkin Soup with Spicy Seeds - Cookbook Countdown

The start of a new month means that I'm cooking from a new book for Cookbook Countdown, a cooking event organized by Emily and Joyce of Emily's Cooking Foray and Kitchen Flavours respectively and a great way to dust off those underused or ignored cookbooks.
I chose The New Portuguese Table by David Leite of Leite's Culinaria. As much a travelogue as it is a cookbook - I dare anyone to view those gorgeous photos and not immediately want to plan a trip there - it makes for a great read. David explains that he wasn't particularly enamoured with Portuguese food as a child in America and didn't develop an appreciation for the cuisine until much later in life. This compilation of recipes for traditional dishes, modern food with its foundation in the traditional and some of his family favourites is a result of his eventual "journey of discovery". I'm quite unfamiliar with Portuguese cuisine, so cooking from this book will be a journey of discovery for me as well.
I started with a warming soup, Sopa de Abóbora com Pevides Picantes. Since the book is written for a North American audience, the ingredients are based on what's readily available here. The author explains that our butternut squash is the best substitute for Portuguese pumpkin.
I've made butternut squash soups before but never this easy or with such incredible flavour. Key to this was roasting all of the vegetables first. Puréed with stock, strained, heated and served, the soup was a velvety smooth bowl of savoury-sweet goodness with a splash of vinegar adding a tangy lift.
Good though it was, the author wasn't quite finished with it. David credits his father for the garnish of Spicy Pumpkin Seeds, a recipe in the "Little Bites" chapter. Smoky, salty and just a little bit sweet with a kick of heat from some cayenne, I could have eaten these by the handful. Actually, I did, but stopped myself in time to garnish the soup! They brought extra flavour and texture to an already delicious dish.
I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.   

8 comments:

  1. That is a gorgeous cover and a lovely choice of a cookbook for March! I enjoyed reading your delightful post, and the colors are just awesome - very matching with the cover! Looks like roasting of the vegetables is the way to go! Looking forward to all your recipes in March! Thanks!

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    1. Thank you Emily. It wasn't until I added the photo of the book that I realized the colours were a little matchy-matchy! I think I'm going to have a lot of fun cooking from this book.

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  2. Zoysia, so glad you enjoyed the recipe. And your photos are beautiful!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by David. I'm looking forward to trying many more recipes from the book before the month is out.

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  3. Hi Zosia,
    That's a beautiful looking soup! Love it's colour! The flavour from the roasted pumpkin must be delicious! And the garnish of the spicy pumpkin seeds makes the soup even more appealing!
    How cool that the author commented on your post! :)

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    1. Thank Joyce, Hearing from the author was an unexpected but very pleasant surprise.

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  4. Hi Zosia, this cookbook looks terrific. I do love Portuguese food and your soup is a nice sampler. Great choice! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Peggy. I hope to learn more about the cuisine this month.

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