Wednesday, October 8, 2008

of pumpkins (part deux)…pretty in pink

My favorite pumpkin of the season is the beautiful French heirloom Brodé Galeux d’Eysines, which means embroidered with warts from Eysines (a small city in the southwest of France). To me this pumpkin is a visual masterpiece, a slightly flattened orb with a pale salmon-pink skin covered with cream-colored squiggly veins of protruding warts.

The warts resemble peanut shells but on some pumpkins the warts resemble a delicate frosting on a pink cake. These bumps are sometimes called “sugar warts”, because they’re caused by a buildup of sugars under the skin. The pumpkin’s flavor is most concentrated just under its skin and again in the seed mass.

The moist orange flesh of this pumpkin has a sweet, slightly nutty flavor and a smooth and tender texture. The flesh is quite fragrant and quite sweet with a hint of sweet potato and apple. The very delicate flavor lends itself to just about any spice from subtle nutmeg to pungent curries.

Because of the delicate mild flavor, it is a favorite to add to bake breads and cakes,
but can hold its own as savory side dish.
This pumpkin unusual has unusual versatility.
For its size this heirloom yields more than the usual amount of smooth, rich pumpkin for the traditional pie.

The Galeux d’Eysines is best utilized for pumpkin butter and soup because the texture of the cooked fruit is so very smooth because this pumpkin is not stringy as most of the many orange skinned varieties.
When made into a soup, you can use the easy to carve shell for a astonishing and beautiful soup tureen for serving your amazed guests.

A Galeux d’Eysines pumpkin weighs about 10 to 15 pounds.
If picked before frost, it will store fresh in a cool room for up to six months. When choosing a pumpkin, pick one that is heavy for its size, sounds hollow when tapped and has a dry stem.From early autumn to early winter, Galeux d’Eysines pumpkins are available at most farmers markets, pumpkin farms and mega mart grocers like Whole Foods.

Brodé Galeux d’Eysines Pink Pumpkin Soup
(recipe adapted from several recipes on allrecipes.com and much experimentation)

ingredients


5 cups low sodium Chicken stock
(I use the Trader Joes brandor my own homemade if I have it on hand)

4 cups pureed fresh Brodé Galeux d’Eysines Pumpkin

1/2 cup sweet Onion

1 Shallot chopped fine

1 clove Garlic cut in half
( Remember, the larger the cut, the milder the flavor. A hint of garlic in the soup gives another dimension of flavorIf you cut the garlic fine it can overtake the delicate flavor of this particular pumpkin.)

½ cup heavy Cream
(you can use much less, but I recommend at least 1 -2 Tablespoons to round out the flavors.)

freshly ground white Pepper to taste

a few grinds of Nutmeg to taste (approx 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh Parsley and Chives

directions

In a large pot, combine the chicken stock, pumpkin, onion, shallots and garlic.

Over medium heat, bring to a slow boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.

Purée the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or a stick blender.

Taste for texture and adjust if you need to purée the mixture further.

Return to pan, and heat to a low boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered.

Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Stir in heavy cream.

Stir gently for a few minutes to combine these ingredients.

Taste to adjust seasonings.
(You want this soup to have a delicate flavor like a symphony with many different notes that work together, with no one flavor note taking star billing.)

Pour into carved Brodé Galeux d’Eysines Pumpkin tureen or into individual bowls.

Garnish sparingly with fresh parsley and chives.
Be warmed and nourished by this autumn delicacy.

Although the Galeux d’Eysines id not your typical autumnal image of a pumpkin, I find this one extremely charming just because of its appearance.
It looks frilly and girly and designer-y and...
oh-la-la oh so French.
But on the inside, it is just as beautiful and delicious.

I live on good soup, not on words. ~ Molière

7 comments:

A Brush with Color said...

Ooooh--those really ARE just as you described--they're almost pretty! I love them! Your photos are splendid. I wish I could cook on the road--I do miss that when I'm traveling! Wonderful post! I really enjoyed these photos, too!

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

Merci beaucoup, cher Sue.
I hope that your birthday was splendid and that you have a huge celebration with your family when you return to you lovely home.
Love the sunny yellow that Joe has painted your room...trés, trés chic.
Birthday bisous...!

Helene said...

I just discovered your blog and I like it. I'll be following your stories on Google Reader. Bonne journée.

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

Merci beaucoup, Helene...
I am glad you like my new blog.
I hope that I can read your blog, as well. Bonne journée.

Anonymous said...

do you puree the squash warts and all?

Sue said...

Yes indeed this pumpkin is so very lush. In fall of 2005 I visited my friend in Avignon. He offered this is all forms . Soup,baked and in Morrocan stew.I being a crazed seed collector was fortunate to get the seeds. I never looked back. This pumpkin has become my favorite as well as my family. My neighbors really get turned off because of the scarring. But my persuasion is give them the soup or baked sample. They come around.

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

Merci mille fois cher Sue... I so appreciate your comment.
This is indeed a beautiful as well as a delicious pumpkin and I am looking forward to serving it and eating it again this automne.
Merci for your visit...come back again soon.