Orcas Island Chef Lisa Nakamura shares her Cinderella Pumpkin Soup on TV!

I know...it makes me feel a little country bumpkinish to get so excited about seeing someone I know on TV, but local Chef Lisa Nakamura has brought an artful little restaurant to Orcas Island and when I found out she was on King 5 teaching how to make her Cinderella Pumpkin Soup, I was thrilled!  Ok, so it helped that they were also going to be giving away a getaway to Orcas Island including a stay at the Outlook Inn and meals at both Lisa's Allium and the New Leaf Cafe.  To plan your own fall getaway to the San Juan Islands check out the San Juan Visitor's Bureau for "Savor the San Juan" lodging and dining deals.  

 

Lisa shared her recipe for Cinderella Pumpkin Soup, the perfect thing to warm your belly as the chill of fall starts to fill our dwindling evening light.

Cinderella Pumpkin Soup

Cinderella Pumpkin Soup with Homemade Ricotta and Pickled Apples

For the soup

Makes eight portions

2 lbs Cinderella pumpkin (these pumpkins can be around 20 lbs when mature, so see if your grocer will
cut them into sections for you), skinned, seeded and cut into 1 inch chunks

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 sprig thyme

2 leaves sage

1 bay leaf

1 stick of cinnamon

1 cup white wine

1 T brown sugar

2 cups cream

Salt and pepper to taste

1 T butter

In a large heavy non-reactive pot, melt the butter. Add the onion slices and cook them slowly with the
thyme, sage and bay leaves until translucent. (This step is key in producing good soup, it helps coax out
more flavors.)

Add the pumpkin and white wine (use a dry white table wine for cooking, save your fancy white wine for
drinking) and cook until the wine has evaporated. Add enough water to cover the pieces of pumpkin
and season with salt and pepper. When the pumpkin pieces are tender, add the cream and the sugar.
Bring up the boil, remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf, and then carefully puree in a blender until
smooth. Strain the soup though a fine sieve. Correct the seasoning as needed.

If the soup is still too thick, thin it out with a little more water and adjust the seasonings as needed.

You may also use chicken or vegetable stock in place of water. I find it changes the taste a little, and
takes away some of the pumpkin flavor intensity. If you use store-bought stock, make sure to purchase
the low sodium version and watch how much salt you add as you cook the soup.

Homemade Ricotta

Make four cups ricotta

½ gallon whole milk

½ gallon cream

1/3 cup + 1 t distilled vinegar

¼ t salt

Instant read thermometer

cheesecloth

In a clean non-reactive pot, heat the milk and cream together until it reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Stir in the salt and vinegar and bring the combination to 175 degrees (just under the boiling point). Let
the mixture stand undisturbed for ten minutes. Carefully strain the curds into a cheesecloth-lined
colander over the sink or a large bowl to catch the whey. Cover the curds and let them continue to
drain in the colander overnight.

The next day, scrape the curds away from the cheesecloth and store in an air-tight container.

You may use this ricotta in savory or sweet applications.

Many recipes call for just whole milk. I like to use cream and milk, as it results in a richer finished
product.

Pickled Apples

Yields approximately two cups

Use tart firm apples, such as Granny Smith, cut into 1’4 inch dice

1 cup rice wine vinegar

¾ cup sugar

2 T salt

½ vanilla bean

1 sprig of thyme

In a non-reactive pot, bring the vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add the vanilla bean and thyme sprig. Cool to room temperature. Add the
apple dice. Let the apples marinate in the pickling liquid at least overnight.

All recipes copyright by Lisa K Nakamura, Allium Restaurant