Fall Pumpkin-Corn Soup

Automne 2010
food and drink

BY: Julia Aitken

This sunny-coloured soup will cheer up the drabbest autumn day, and the easy Sesame Crackers add a welcome touch of crunch. 

8 ears corn, shucked (or 4 cups/1 L frozen corn kernels)

2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) minced fresh ginger
½ tsp (2 mL) seeded and minced fresh hot chili
½ tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
4 cups (1 L) diced, peeled and seeded pumpkin
8 cups (2 L) homemade or low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp (25 mL) lemon juice
3 tbsp (45 mL) finely chopped fresh coriander

1. With a sturdy serrated knife, cut kernels from ears of corn. Set corn kernels aside.

2. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes or until onion is softened but not brown. Add garlic, ginger, chili and cumin; cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add pumpkin to pot, stirring to coat with onion mixture. Add stock and half of corn kernels. Bring to a boil over high heat.Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes until pumpkin is very tender. Remove pot from heat and let soup cool slightly.

3. In a blender (not a food processor), blend soup in batches until smooth. Return soup to rinsed-out pot; stir in remaining corn kernels. Bring soup to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until corn kernels are tender.Stir in lemon zest, juice and coriander. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Ladle into warm soup bowls; serve with Sesame Crackers.

Serves 6 to 8

Sesame Crackers
Thaw wafer-thin phyllo pastry according to the instructions on the box, then remove three sheets for this recipe and return the rest of the box to the freezer.

1 egg yolk
1 tbsp (15 mL) cold water
3 sheets frozen phyllo pastry, thawed
4 tsp (20 mL) toasted sesame seeds
¼ tsp (1 mL) each salt and
freshly ground black pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and water.

3.  Stack sheets of phyllo one on top of the other; cut in half crosswise. Lay 2 pieces of phyllo side by side on baking sheet. Brush each with egg-yolk mixture; sprinkle with one-third of sesame seeds. Top each with another piece of phyllo, brushing with egg yolk and sprinkling with sesame seeds as before. Repeat layers. Sprinkle each stack of phyllo with salt and pepper.

4.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until phyllo is crisp and golden brown. Use parchment to lift hot phyllo stacks off baking sheet, then slide them onto to a wire rack to cool completely. Break roughly into large pieces.

Makes 8 to 10 crackers

What to Serve