I have a confession to make: I’m terribly out of tune with the seasons and other natural cycles.
It’s actually a bit embarrassing. I used to show up at my corner fruit vendor when I lived in Santo Domingo and ask for mangos when it wasn’t mango season, or avocados when the trees were still in blossom. I just can’t remember these things.
I suppose I can blame the fact that I was born in a country with hardly any noticeable seasons. We jump from something that feels like a mild summer to something that resembles hell. Or so the saying goes.*
Our trees seem to blossom whenever they please, and birds poop on our cars all year round, nothing hibernates, and people don’t die of exposure. A mixed blessing for sure.
I follow a lot of food bloggers and food writers, and you typically see this type of soup pop up everywhere around October in the northern hemisphere. Apparently, pumpkins refuse to grow any other time of the year or something. I am not sure what’s the problem. Here our beloved auyama seems to grow any time of the year, and it reproduces like a very promiscuous plant.
And boy does it grow. Left to its own devices it would take over the island in no time, judging by the fact that the backyard at my parents’ house was covered in it and I even managed to grow one in a pot once.
So, I don’t want to wait till fall to make pumpkin soup. Auyama, just like me, is pretty clueless about the seasons. And that’s a good thing, because when Sargento proposed that I adapt their acorn squash soup recipe for our blog, my mind immediately flew to the wanton auyama.
Delicious, smoky creamy pumpkin soup, topped by rustic bread and melting Sargento sliced Swiss cheese: You must definitely try this. Never mind the seasons.
- 2 lb [0.9 kg] auyama (West Indies pumpkin) (see notes)
- 4 tablespoon of olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper (or more, to taste)
- 1½ teaspoon of salt
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 6 sprigs of parsley
- 1½ qt [1 lt] vegetable broth
- 6 large slices of rustic bread of your preference, toasted
- 6 slices Sargento® Deli Style Sliced Swiss or Jarlsberg Cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 ºF [176 ºC].
- Peel the pumpkin and cut into 1" [2.5 cm] thick slices. Place in a baking pan along with the garlic and parsley.
- Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Roast for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked throughout. Cool down to room temperature.
- Mix the roasted pumpkin, garlic and parsley with the broth and blend together. Season with salt to taste and reheat it. Pour into serving bowls.
- Cover the bread with a slice of cheese each.Place under a broil over high temperature until the cheese melts and turns golden brown.
- Top bowls with the bread and serve.
* Tenemos dos estaciones: verano e infierno (“We have two seasons: summer and hell”, a jeu de mots, as invierno [winter] and infierno [hell] only have a letter different).