Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
This unusual hearty soup pumpkin and kielbasa makes a nice change for cool fall evenings. The unexpected blend just may become a soup and sandwich favorite. The yogurt gives it a smooth taste and the Kielbasa makes it hearty. Spicy Pumpkin and Kielbasa Soup is great with a hot Cuban sandwich. Serve bowl of soup and a half sandwich. Cuban sandwich recipe below.
1 1/2 lbs pureed pumpkin meat (canned or make your own*)
1 small Kielbasa (about 1 pound sliced into 1/4 rounds)
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 tbspn virgin olive oil
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of hot pepper sauce (also leave on table)
Saute Kielbasa in pan. When edges are browned slightly, remove from pan and place on paper towels*. Leave kielbasa juices and flavorings in pan. Add olive oil to the juices and toss in the chopped onions. Saute onions in until they becocme transparent. Be careful not to let onions burn. Turn heat off and cover.
Pour chicken stock into a large pot and heat to low boil. Add pureed pumpkin and minced garlic and blend. Stir and cook over medium low heat for 45 minutes.
Turn heat off and let soup cool a bit. Then add yogurt stir to blend well. Add the Kielbasa and onions to soup and stir again. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Add dash or two of hot pepper sauce to soup, stir and serve in bowls.
Fresh basil over top is a nice touch. Serve with a crusty bread. Leave hot pepper sauce on table for those who like spicier soup.
Makes about 10-1 cup servings or 5 larger bowls of soup.
Directions for making pumpkin puree. Buy fairly large pumpkin, cut in half from stem, removing the pulp and seeds*. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, cut side up covered with foil. The pumpkin will be very tender when done. Use large spoon to scrape the meat from the shells, place pumpkin meat in blender to puree. Use large strainer to remove string pulp.
Cuban sandwiches are made with Cuban bread and served warm. Cold cuts have never tasted better. If you can't find Cuban bread use crusty French bread.
Roast pork, thinly sliced
Ham (boiled or baked), thinly sliced
Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
Sweet pickles, sliced
Slice full length of bread. Remove some of the soft bread and place mayonnaise on one half and mustard on the other half. Place 2 or 3 slices of each cold cut and add sliced sweet pickles. Make a sandwich and butter both sides of the crust. Place sandwich in a very hot lightly oiled pan. Place foil over sandwich. Toast by placing a heavy pan, sandwich press or covered brick* on sandwich. When browned on one side, turn and repeat to complete toasting.
Slice into individual servings.
* If you use canned pumpkin, it should not contain sugar.
* A covered brick are very useful in the kitchen when a weight is called for. Use a clean brick and cover with heavy-duty foil. Wipe brick with a damp cloth after each use. Can be used indefinately.
Locating a place that sells Cuban bread is well worth the effort. Some supermarkets may have it in the fresh bread section.