Apple-wood Smoked Pumpkin Leek Soup. This soup is smooth, sumptuous, and so beautiful. Its aroma will have you guessing from the very first moments of cooking. Firstly, most noteworthy, the sweet notes of pumpkin and leek. Secondly, to the slight smoke from the apple-wood, and last but not least, the dreamy buttermilk just taking this soup way over the top!
Song of the Day: “Oh Yeah” by Yello
Apple-wood Smoked Pumpkin and Leek Soup, creamy, rich, packed with subtle robust flavors and spices. This soup will leave your taste buds in a state of bliss. If you have the winter chills, wrap your hands around this wonderful bowl of food love!
Pumpkins and More Pumpkins!
During the season of winter, squash and pumpkin grace the produce isles. Halloween has past and the last of the pumpkins are left not to be decorated but used to make delicious recipes. However, I had a bright idea to make this soup amazing and with a little Canadian twist……… Smoke!
Apple-wood the smoke of choice!
Apple-wood has this nice subtle sweet smoke to it. Pair it with some leeks, carrots, celery, potato, tomatoes and pumpkin and a really nice vegetable stock and you have the basics to a delicious and scrumptious winter soup!
Off to The Italian Centre Shop with our list that goes something like this:
- Celery, carrots, onions
- Stewed tomatoes
- Red potatoes
- Olive oil
- Fresh rosemary, thyme, red chilis
- Coriander, yellow curry, Chinese five spice, bay leaves, paprika
I love using the grill. You probably figured that out by now. People have also known me to be out there in the clenches of winter grilling up a storm!
Today is no different, I am going outside, fire that grill and get a little smoke going, and get to making this Apple-wood Smoked Pumpkin Leek Soup!
We are only using half a pumpkin. Fortunately for us, we had some leftover from another recipe we did for the Italian Centre Shop, Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata.
After the pumpkin has been cleaned and de-pulped we are ready to season it up, because we want to really get some flavor into that flesh of this wonderful vegetable. In the recipe below you will see the array of fresh herbs and dry spices that we use.
I first start with olive oil and then sprinkle everything in. However, the best way to cook this pumpkin is upside down, on a piece of foil and onto a perforated grilling pan.
How about those Leeks?
The leeks I cut into halves and seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Onto that foil paper next to the pumpkin and that is it. The grill is at about 380-400 degrees F and in go our veggies.
When a fork or knife can go into the pumpkin smoothly, it is done. Likewise for the leeks. You will see some char happening and the folds coming apart these are done too!
I almost forgot, the smoke!
For the smoke, I used some apple-wood chips I bought from our local hardware store. I received a smoking kit for a gift quite a while ago and it had this nice small cast iron ramekin. Consequently, it works very well in adding a little smoke to any grilling.
If you don’t have this ramekin, a foil plate will work. Firstly, wet the apple-wood chips a bit. Secondly, place them in a foil plate or foil paper, making a pouch. Lastly, poke holes in the top because we want that smoke to be able to escape and caress our veggies ever so subtly!
Char heavenly Char!
Look at that char on the pumpkin. One thing for sure, grilling sure does an amazing job caramelizing all those natural sugars. Time to get to making the soup.
The Holy Trinity of Soup!
Mirepoix, the holy trinity. Carrots, celery, and onions, the aroma of this medley will make anyone’s stomach growl. Now in goes the charred leeks, spices, herbs and that sweats for a bit. Time for some stewed tomatoes which just sweetens the pot. Likewise, as a result, deepens the color of this fantastic soup.
The Star of the Show
With the pumpkin cooled a bit we scoop all the pulp out along with all that goodness, hence building levels of flavor. To seal the deal some wonderful vegetable stock and we cover this slightly so it can breathe a bit and also build texture and taste.
Everything’s Better with Butter!
To get that creamy rich texture and taste we use buttermilk. OH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!
Does this not look so colorful, rich and mouth drooling good? I think so, excuse me I have to go get a napkin, lol.
The final stages!
All that is left is to puree this soup. Above all else, fire up that hand blender and begin to spin that velvet texture!
I love the color so deep and the sheen wonderful. Can’t wait to dive in and get that bread into the action to sop up all those wonderful flavor notes.
Can’t finish a plate without some artistic expression. A few droplets of buttermilk and some fresh aromatic basil.
There! Perfect and ready to serve!
Lunch is ready! Come and get it!
Oh, that Aroma……..
I can smell that slight bit of apple-wood smoke. Smells so sweet and profound. Furthermore, the pumpkin, with all the spices and herbs, has my senses going mad with hunger! The smell of that buttermilk and notes of fresh basil is like heaven to my brain.
Where’s my spoon!
Oh, there it is. I am going in because I can’t stand it anymore! Mirepoix, the soup base is perfect. Just enough of a foundation to let the other stars shine. The pumpkin is sweet, earthy, and the spices of garlic, paprika, thyme, and rosemary add such a nice touch to the whole. Potatoes help keep that starchy velvety texture in check. Likewise, having the leeks that have that caramel backdrop and a rich green onion similarly adds a subtle flavor boost, which perfectly balances the totality of this Apple-wood Smoked Pumpkin Leek Soup.
I love soups especially when winter has its clutches on me. Some think of soup as that casual everyday affair. I think this soup has earned the right to be served in fine dining style, don’t you?
If you are in the Edmonton area or planning a trip to Edmonton, take a break, go to the Italian Centre Shop. Load up your cart with the ingredients necessary to make this Apple-wood Smoked Pumpkin Leek Soup.
One thing I must warn you about, you are probably going to come home with much much more than you had planned to buy because the aromas and wonderful samples and amazing ingredients have a way to win your heart. Also, the atmosphere is very family friendly!
This soup would be a great first plate at your Christmas dinner. Think about it!
Song of the day: “Oh Yeah” by Yello.Print
Apple-wood Smoked Pumpkin Leek Soup. This soup is smooth, sumptuous, and so beautiful. The aroma will have you guessing from the very first spoonful. Firstly, the sweet notes of pumpkin and leek, secondly, to the slight smoke from the apple-wood, and last but not least, the dreamy buttermilk just taking this soup way over the top!
- 1/2 pumpkin, about 1.5 kg
- 1 leek cut into pieces
- 2 cloves garlic pressed
- 1/2 tsp fresh red chili pepper minced
- A few sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- Couple bay leaves
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp crushed sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 Tbsp Chinese five spice
- A nice pinch of yellow curry
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- A handful of apple wood chips
- 4 -5 small carrots chopped fine
- 3 small yellow onions chopped
- 1 small leek washed and chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 2 small red potatoes peeled washed and diced
- 3/4 cup celery with leaves chopped fine
- 1 1/2 cups stewed tomatoes
- All the inside pulp of the cooked pumpkin
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tsp crushed sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- A few leaves of fresh basil
- If you can’t find pumpkin, squash would work just fine too.