If you ask me, there’s nothing that says fall in France more than the arrival of the potimarron, the little orange squash with the delicate flavor of chestnuts. I love my butternut, and I adore my acorn, but potimarron and I, well, we’re in a serious relationship.
So much so when I go to the stand at the Belleville market where I’ve been buying them this year, he greets me with a “Bonjour” and then, “Potimarron?” He knows I cannot resist picking up one or two, which fit so neatly in the bottom of my grocery sack.
This recipe is simple and meant to let the potimarron shine — I mistakenly added celery one time and regretted it after the first taste, because even though it was just part of one stalk, the celery overwhelmed the potimarron’s subtle flavor. That said, I figured that a little crunch of my favorite cinnamony-toasty cookie, the Speculoo, would be a fun way to bring in an additional flavor, but not be too much — you can use crushed up gingersnaps if you can’t find Speculoos in your neighborhood.
For those of y’all that live in France, potimarrons are easy to find, and if you don’t, you can substitute pumpkin or butternut squash. It won’t be exactly the same, of course – the chestnutty flavor is unique to the potimarron — but it’ll be a lovely fall soup nonetheless.
Which brings me to a little note about the timing of this post — clink your champagne glasses with your soup spoons, everyone! — it’s another Friday Twitter #LetsLunch recipe, which means that we’re all having lunch together right now. Or cyber-speaking, that is. If you’re just joining in, #LetsLunch is the Twitter hashtag for what’s become an international group of food bloggers that gather via the magic of the internet to share recipes, stories, and more than that, even, friendship. I love how our little group has grown. (Want to be a part of the fun? Just go to Twitter and type in #letslunch.)
So, to everyone old and new, Bon Automne!
Soup’s on. Let’s eat.
Here’s what the others have posted today. Check ’em out. (May I just say one more thing? YUM!)
The Kitchen Trials’ hot-n-spicy Carrot Habenero Soup
Free Range Cookies’ Oven-Baked Soup
A Tiger in the Kitchen’s Winter Melon Soup
Dreaming of Pots and Pans’ Roasted Tomato Soup
Cooking in the Fruit Bowl’s Apple Beer Cheese Soup
Bon Vivant’s Carrot Soup with Chicharonnes
ShowFoodChef’s No Knead Pasta-Chard and Mushroom Soup with Fregola
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 2 pd. (appx) potimarron, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 large carrot, diced
5 small waxy potatoes, such as red potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 sprig parsley
1 sprig thyme
freshly cracked black pepper
Tie the parsley, thyme and bay leave together with a piece of string.
In a large soup pot, drizzle the olive oil and add the carrots. Cook until they begin to get a little tender, just about 5 minutes or so. Add the potatoes, and cook for 3-4 minutes, and add the potimarron, about 4 cups of water and the herbs. Cover and cook on medium for a half hour. Check to see if the potimarron and potatoes are tender. When they’re done, remove the herbs and purée the soup with a hand blender. Serve immediately or save for the next day – it’s even better.