Pumpkin Soup

The locals in Barcelona have spent the last couple days protesting in the evenings by banging their pots and pans together at the same time. Basically, this produces quite a lot of annoying noise.

I don’t usually talk about politics here, but this weekend might be quite interesting. Barcelona is located in a region of Spain called Catalonia. They want independence from Spain. As an outsider (I am not Catalan nor entirely Spanish) I can see so many discrepancies in what the media and the politicians tell the people on both sides: in Catalonia and in the rest of Spain in general.

Catalonia has long wanted to hold a referendum to vote on independence. Spain has long held that if they want a referendum, then the whole of Spain must vote. Catalonia doesn’t want the whole of Spain to vote. They prefer to just vote themselves, thank you.

They have organized a referendum to be held this weekend. Spain has declared that it illegal. Catalonia then declares that Spain is not democratic and is not allowing them the right of autodetermination. Fair enough. People bang their pots and pans in protest against the decision of the Spanish government.

Catalonia has then declared that they will hold the referendum anyway, only that instead they won’t call it a referendum. It is an act of manifestation in which a consultation will be held. Therefore Spain can’t take legal action against the illegal referendum, because there will not be one. There will be a consultation.

As I said, this weekend might be quite interesting…

Pumpkin soup with boletus mushrooms

Pumpkin Soup

This pumpkin soup is dedicated to Mr. H. because it was his idea to make it. He suggested it would be nice to serve it in the pumpkin itself and top it off with some interesting mushrooms. For the interesting mushrooms we chose red pine mushrooms, and I decided to top them with pine nuts. Not because of the word pine but because I thought they would go well with the whole dish.

And they did.

Ingredients:

5 cups pumpkin pulp, 1 onion, 1 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup cream, 4 big red pine nuts, 1 handful pine nuts, 2 tablespoons butter, salt, freshly ground black pepper

Melt some butter in a large pot. Peel and chop the onion. Add the onion to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the pumpkin pulp. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ad the chicken broth, cream some salt. Blend with a mixer until it reaches a thick liquid texture. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Wash the mushrooms thoroughly and cut them into slices. Melt a small amount of butter in a separate pan. Add the red pine mushrooms, pine nuts, a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Cook and stir for a few minutes.

Serve the soup in the hollowed pumpkin. Add the red pine mushrooms and pine nuts.

Enjoy your soup!

32 Comments

  1. Sunny 2014-11-06 at 01:09

    Yeah, looks like you’re going to have an interesting weekend indeed… The thing is, if it is a “consultation,” the result is not legally binding, or is it?

    Back to the pumpkin soup: yummy yum yum! I love the presentation as well as the mushrooms! Great idea, Mr. H!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-11-06 at 09:39

      It shouldn’t be legally binding. but if the results are positive on their behalf they would definitely use it to put pressure on Spain (and the EU).
      I’ll give Mr. H. your compliments 😉

      Reply
  2. The Monching 2014-11-06 at 01:23

    Hmmm…from the way I see it – there’s a possibility that they got inspired by the recent Scottish referendum (which ended rather dismally).

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-11-06 at 08:33

      Well the idea of this referendum / consultation of course isn’t new, they been at it forever. They did watch the Scottish referendum closely… and funny enough the dismal results didn’t hold them back.

      Reply
  3. Saskia (1=2) 2014-11-06 at 02:27

    Wow, amazing timing. I was just looking at my own pumpkin soup recipe, wondering if I can rustle up a pot before pumpkin season is officially over here. I’ve never served it up in a hollowed-out pumpkin and really must do that one day! Looks fantastically good! Also LOVE your idea of scattering mushrooms on top – sounds earthy and delicious.
    Keen to read about Catalonia’s bid for independence after the weekend. Loved reading your perspective on it; much more interesting and personal than a traditional news report.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-11-06 at 10:06

      What a coincidence! Try and serve it in the pumpkin, its fun. Yes it was earthly and delicious, the photo does not do it justice because it was one of those horrid NIGHT in my badly coloured lit kitchen photos, so it looked better in real life.
      I’ll keep you up to date with the results of this weekend!

      Reply
  4. Lily @ChloeAsh 2014-11-06 at 05:07

    I love pumpkin soup but never tried making it myself. This sounds easy enough. I’ll have to try it one day 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-11-06 at 10:04

      The hardest part is getting the pumpkin pulp out of the pumpkin (muscle work). Other than that it’s easy! xx

      Reply
  5. Mabel Kwong 2014-11-06 at 05:48

    I’ve always been a bit fussy about pumpkin soup. A lot of the time I find it too sweet for my liking. I’m not too sure about putting soups in anything other than a bowl. I fear…that the pumpkin will dissolve under all the heat and my soup will go everywhere 😉

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-11-06 at 10:03

      This wasn’t sweet at all! Maybe the ones you’ve tried have sugar added. Then one had plenty of black pepper added, definitely not sweet! Pumpkins and very hard and resistant, so no problems. In some places people put soups in bread as bowls, now they have to be resistant breads!

      Reply
      1. Mabel Kwong 2014-11-06 at 13:34

        Ah, yes! Bread bowls! I was thinking of them but totally forget what they were called until you mentioned it 🙂 Usually I don’t order soup bowls – the soup bowl breads are hard, and it seems like a waste of bread if you can’t eat that.

        Reply
  6. Darya 2014-11-06 at 07:44

    Lovely soup, Sofia. Pumpkin season is in full swing now, and I am searching for inspiration such as toppings for a classic soup; mushrooms look perfect. I will be following the news closely as I have a good friend in Barcelona! Hope it all goes smoothly…

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-11-06 at 10:01

      Hi Darya! Actually Mr. H. was inspired by making this recipe topped with a different mushroom: la trompette de la mort. We didn’t find it here but you could try it with that.
      We’ll both be watching this weekend then!

      Reply
      1. Darya 2014-11-06 at 10:05

        Oh I love trompettes de la mort. I’ve never found any in the forest, but I sometimes find them at the market, or buy them dried. Nice idea (and would look pretty, especially on a Halloween menu 😉 )

        Reply
        1. Sofia 2014-11-06 at 10:07

          Haha I found my mushrooms in the market too. I have no idea of how to pick them in the forrest. Do you know how to?

          Reply
          1. Darya 2014-11-06 at 10:10

            My mom does. She has been doing it since childhood and know most mushrooms now. But I don’t believe she’s ever found trompettes de la mort !

            Reply
            1. Sofia 2014-11-06 at 10:38

              Wow, I admire people that know how to pick mushrooms!

              Reply
  7. Guillermina Stover 2014-11-06 at 17:07

    Interesting weekend indeed! I know that Catalonia has been trying to become independent of Spain, as has El País Vasco (Euskeda).

    Today I am preparing an “Empanada Gallega” for a luncheon PLUS I will be making one for my guys also. I will be traveling this weekend for about 5 days to help a dear friend move into her new house (5,000 square feet, yes it’s a “MacMansion”!!!). In preparation of my absence, I made Chicken Liver Pâtè for my hubby so he can have for his breakfast. Plus tomorrow I’ll make a loaf of my Artisan Bread so he can have with his pâtè. And of course, the Empanada Gallega. It feels quite comforting to leave them with my delicious meals—they need me! LOL!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-11-06 at 18:25

      I’ve heard that there will be pots and pans banging every night now leading till Sunday.
      You’re keeping yourself very busy. And with all that you are making your hubby, he sounds so spoilt, I want to live there too! Chicken Liver Pate, artisan bread,…. lucky him!

      Reply
  8. Guillermina Stover 2014-11-06 at 17:10

    Question: The hollowed pumpkin looks quite firm. But wouldn’t it be a bit soft and hard to fill as you show in the photo???? I would love to make your recipe, and filling the pumpkin, but I was wondering if it would actually work…

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-11-06 at 18:28

      You’re not the first person to comment on the firmness of the pumpkin, so I’m beginning to think that the pumpkins sold here are rock hard compared to in the rest of the world. Therefore they make great soup bowls. They are very hard, so much so that I don’t even cut it myself. Mr H does the cutting and removing of pulp, I do the cooking. We both do the eating. I remember once I had a piece of pumpkin without him, it was so hard I couldn’t cut it and just boiled the whole piece skin and all! After that I removed the skin…

      Reply
  9. ruedodessa 2014-11-06 at 22:10

    I’ve been wondering what the pots and pans banging at 10pm were every night…this was my guess but thank you for clarifying! Soup looks amazing, I’ll have to try it 😉

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-11-06 at 22:21

      Are you here in Barcelona? They just did another banging session now, there will be a session at 22h everyday until Sunday I heard!

      Reply
  10. Michelle 2014-11-07 at 01:57

    Beautiful soup! And talk away about politics. As long as you’re not talking about American politics … which, this week, are appalling.

    Reply
  11. Guillermina Stover 2014-11-07 at 05:01

    Okay, going back to the pumpkin as a bowl. You did NOT bake the whole pumpkin, did you? If you had, it would just all collapse…so you must have hollowed out the pumpkin and cooked only the pulp. Am I correct??

    Reply
  12. sabine 2014-11-07 at 09:15

    A warming pumpkin soup was certainly right for a weekend when political tides are rough! Have you tried varieties that are cooked skin on, like Hokkaido? You probably have. You avoid the peeling work, but of course then you can´t use the whole thing as a soup bowl.

    Reply
  13. Amanda 2014-11-07 at 20:44

    Sofia, I love this. I’m going to do it. I need to find pumpkins again in the city. They seem to be phasing them out now. I love the idea of serving it IN the pumpkin.

    Reply
  14. Dalo 2013 2014-11-10 at 05:38

    Such an interesting piece of history you are living in right now, pretty amazing. Just let me know when the revolution begins…and I will be there!! Or, just let me know when the next batch of pumpkin soup is ready and I’ll be there for that too 🙂

    Take care, although the protests seem to be a little peaceful, you never know.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-11-10 at 08:17

      Ok they had their consultation yesterday! Everything was peaceful. I did not go to vote because, even though I can, I am not Catalan and thought I will leave it to them to decide. More than 2 million people went to vote and it seems that now they want to working on independence.
      Yeah, you never know, however I will be in Madrid all this week, leaving today. So if anything happens I’ll miss out!

      Reply
    2. Sofia 2014-11-10 at 08:21

      Ok hang on, what I said was the version from the Catalan newspapers. More than 2 million people voted and 80% wanted independence. Now they are adamant they want a real referendum.
      Now the rest of Spain newspapers version: they say that Catalonia says it was successful. However, more than 4 million people that could have voted didn’t bother and therefore they don’t really find it that representative.

      Reply
      1. Dalo 2013 2014-11-11 at 01:47

        Ha, ha ~ you just have to love the politics of it all (people and the government)… It is pretty fascinating, and would be interesting to be there to see/feel the scene. Wish you a great week!

        Reply

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