Obviously I'm talking about all seasons where you can find a fresh pumpkin: as in a short time it will be out of season, let's prepare a tasty cream of pumpkin soup. This soup is my favourite (cream of leeks soup is second on the list): in fact, when I prepare it, I eat it so much that you can actually see it inside my stomach (I always eat at least two dishes of it). I want to play it safe: this recipe is very easy, you can prepare it in a short time, with a pressure cooker and a hand mixer.
So, it isn't a refined recipe, or a traditional one: it's a family recipe, my favourite for the cold and dark winter nights, a recipe that I like in all its variations (I will indicate them at the bottom of the recipe), because even a spoon of this fabulous orange soup is capable of warming stomach, "heart and soul" (sorry for the banality… also, the "marriage" between heart and soul actually sounds better in Neapolitan dialect: "anema e core"). So, here it is: my recipe for an unpretencious, but very effective, soup!
CREAM OF PUMPKIN SOUP
* 1 kg pumpkin pulp
* A big onion
* A celery stick
* 2 carrots
* 2 potatoes (medium-big size)
* Bay leaves
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* A stock-cube (optional)
Peel the vegetables and dice them (roughly). Put in a large pressure cooker a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, the vegetables and the herbs: stir and cook for about 10 minutes to mix all the flavours (if necessary, add some water). Now, Pour in water (about 2l) to cover the vegetables, add a drizzle of oil and, if you want to, a stock-cube (season with salt consequently). Close the pressure cooker, and cook on high heat for about 30 minutes from the whistle. Let the soup cool down, then purée with a hand mixer.
I love this soup even "pure", with some Parmigiano Reggiano cheese only, but its variations are unlimited: often I add some croutons (dry home made bread diced, seasoned with oil, salt and rosemary and baked in the oven), sometimes I put a spoon of cream in the middle of the dish. To obtain a more nourishing dish, you can add some pasta or some cereals (previously cooked -firm- or uncooked), especially pearl barley: it's fantastic, because it's rustic, crunchy, nourishing, but still light.
In any way you choose to enjoy it, this soup will be a perfect dish to warm away these last (I hope so) winter days.