Pumpkins Part 3: THE PUMPKINING
by Baby Huey
Work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, hello boys and girls, have a nice weekend? I missed you!
This weekend was spent in a haze of Sam Adams, football, and cooking. That's right, I was testing out a variation on an old standby of mine to share with you folks this week. It's a soup that you can have ready in about 45 minutes. It's spicy, it's filling, it's kinda sweet, and it's generally just awesome. Oh yeah, and it contains pumpkin.
Roasted corn and Pumpkin Soup
1 large onion, sliced into half moons
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped into coins
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 t curry powder
salt and pepper
1 lb chorizo sausage (if you've got chorizo links, slice them up)
22 oz of pumpkin (that's about 1 1/2 standard cans -- don't worry, you can
cover the can with plastic wrap and it'll last in the fridge for a week or
2 12 oz bottle of beer (I used Sam Adams Oktoberfest, but any medium-bodied
ale would do)
2 c chicken broth
12 oz corn, frozen or fresh
2 c shredded cheese for melting -- swiss or cheddar work best
1 Tbsp corn starch
sour cream and chives
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the corn with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and spread out on a cookie sheet that you've lined with wax or parchment paper. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the corn starts to get a bit brown.
In a large (5 qt works best) dutch oven or soup pot, cook the chorizo over medium heat for about 15 minutes, till it's nice and brown and some of the fat has rendered out. When it's taken on some color and given off some fat, take it out of the pan (but for the love of god don't throw that fat out, it's liquid gold) and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Add the remaining olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Continue to cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, till the veggies have cooked down somewhat. Add the garlic and curry and stir to combine. Let it cook for a minute, then stir in the pumpkin. It'll be kind of unruly at first but as it heats up, it'll "melt" a bit and be easier to handle. At this point, add one of the bottles of beer and the chicken broth. Stir all of that well to make sure the pumpkin has dissolved. Add the sausage back in. Simmer this on medium-low heat for about 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, add the corn. Taste the broth to make sure it's got enough seasoning, and add salt and pepper if necessary (I know I did -- the pumpkin needs quite a bit of salt). Let the soup simmer for another 10 or 15 minutes. The corn has a lot of starch in it. Simmering the soup with the corn in it will release some of it and help thicken the soup.
Coat the cheese in the corn starch -- this will help it melt better. Add the cheese a handful at a time and stir to melt it. Don't add the next batch of cheese till the previous one has fully melted. This, too, will thicken the soup. At this point, it's basically done. Serve it with a dollop of sour cream and some chives.
If you want to make this recipe vegetarian, do what I do and substitute vegetable broth for the chicken stock and replace the chorizo with a can of black beans that you've drained and rinsed. It's still really good. If you want to make it vegan, please, just fuck right off.
On to the weekly metal review. Normally, I'll only review records I like, and save the stuff I'm not too fond of for the monthly wrap up. However, this week I'll review something that I'm not completely fond of, simply because I think it may grow on me, so what the hell.
Georgia boys Mastodon are kinda weird. That's the first thing I think when I hear Mastodon's music, or read an interview with them, or even look at them. They're kinda weird. And I'll admit, a lot of people have total hardons for Mastodon, but I just. don't. get. it. The appeal, right now, just isn't there for me. I'm not saying it never will be -- I used to be the same way with Lamb of God, and now they're one of my favorites. That being said, the lyrics don't make a lick of sense, they come up with some totally whacked
out melodies, and the drum work is, in 2 words, completely fucking insane. I guess that's also part of their appeal. When I'm looking for something completely different, I look to Mastodon. The vocals are screamed, but they're sort of like how a crazy person would sound, all the time. Remember the old Monty Python sketch with Mr. Gumby yelling "MY BRAIN HURTS!"? Yeah, the vocals sound a lot like that. "4/4 time" is, I'm pretty sure, a
blasphemy in the religion of drummer Brann Dailor, which I--to a point--respect. The riffs are cool, though, and it's generally a fun listen.
Recommended Tracks: "Bladecatcher", "Capillarian Crest", "The Wolf is
Loose", "Crystal Skull"
Baby Huey's radio show, "Dead of the NIght" can be heard Tuesday evenings on WXDU, 88.7 FM, Durham, NC