So I am having this issue.
I am working on something that requires me to talk about myself. And when I say talk about my self, I really mean talk myself up. For some people (like a couple of my brothers), this may come easy, but for me, OMG I cannot do it. If you’ve met me in person than you know I am pretty soft-spoken, especially when it comes to me or my work. Like I just do not like to talk about myself. It totally embarrasses me. And if you talk to me in front of my mom? Oh my gosh, that is the absolute worst. She’ll step in and, go on and on… so embarrassing. You see my mom is a master at talking up her kids, she is a well seasoned pro I tell ya.
I am still at the point in my life where I cannot even accept a complement without feeling awkward. I know it is totally weird, but I guess I am still growing into this whole adulthood thing. I do have to say that I have learned that when I do receive a complement I need say thank you, smile and act like I can own it. It’s worse when you try to brush it off because then you get more compliments and then my face gets all red and flushed and then they know I am embarrassed.
So now I just nod along and say my thank you’s. Hey, maybe I am learning and growing… just slowly.
Anyway, I spent my Saturday trying to talk about myself. It was the first day I had not cooked and photographed in so long…it wasn’t all that fun. Sitting at a desk is just so not for me. I get too distracted. Towards the last hour or so, I just couldn’t focus anymore. I had been working at my computer for six plus hours and at some point during the last hour, my mind drifted towards Christmas.
For all you Christmas haters, you should just stop reading now and skip down to where I am going to talk about this soup. For the rest of you, I have crossed over to full on Thanksgiving and Christmas mode. I have always loved the holidays, especially Christmas, but this year feels different. I am thinking that maybe it’s because it has been such a stressful and busy year (good busy!). I think I just need something to cling to and get excited about. As much as I love my work, I need another release to help me relax. I am pretty sure most of you can understand, and for me, the one things I can really get into is the holidays. So this upcoming season has me pretty excited to say the least.
Plus, if all goes well, my big GC (general contractor) of a mom is telling me the barn will be move in ready come the first (or second) week of December. I have to say, I am highly skeptical. While the barn is certainly looking more finished, there is still boatloads to do in three to four weeks. Still hoping for three though! I obviously want to have plenty of time to decorate for Christmas. And don’t worry I have been a little better about getting down to the barn to take photos the last couple of weeks, so when all is done I can show you guys a little bit of the process.
But back to that last hour of computer work, yeah I totally spent most of that last hour scouring all my favorite cooking sites looking through their Christmas collections. It was so fun… too bad I couldn’t actually buy anything because um, my budget’s a little tight ever since this whole barn project decided to go and get all pricey (like a lot pricey) on us. Ugh. Reality.
Our weather is apparently supposed to turn pretty cold here this week so I made us all some soup. I mean, it is soup weather after all. This isn’t any old soup though, and I have to say that I am hoping you will serve this as a first course at Thanksgiving. It’s picture perfect for Thanksgiving. ESPECIALLY if you take the time to cut the acorn squash and pie pumpkins into cute little soup bowls. This may be one of my favorite things to do on Thanksgiving, it’s so fun and people kind of get all impressed by them, which works out as bonus points for you, obviously.
This is such a simple soup, but it’s packed with spicy, sweet flavors. The pumpkin soup itself is chipotle cheddar and I swear that pumpkin, chipotle and cheddar is one of the best combos. I have even done it on pizza (with bacon) and it’s just so good. If you are worried about it being too spicy, you can just reduce the amount of chipotle. To be honest though, I wouldn’t worry about the spiciness too much. The creamy, cheesy soup helps to mellow out the spicy flavors.
My favorite component to this chipotle pumpkin soup is the topping. I am such a huge fan of good chorizo. I say good, because not all chorizo is equal, and if you can make you own, well, more power to you!! The chorizo is the perfect topping and adds bits of texture to this otherwise textureless soup. Oh, and the apple? I know this may seem totally odd, but the sweetness of the caramelized apple plays off those spicy flavors in the chorizo and chipotle. You have to trust me on this. You’ll love the combo together.
And if you are still freaked by the apples, just leave um, but I am telling you, you should at least give them a try. It’s not weird!
Or maybe it’s kind of weird, but it doesn’t taste weird. Just good.
Chipotle Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Chorizo + Glazed Apples.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small sweet onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic grated or chopped
- 2 in chipotle chiles adobo Sauce minced + 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
- 4 cups pumpkin puree*
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- pinch of salt + pepper
- 4 cups low sodium chicken or veggie broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or canned coconut milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese plus more for topping
- 1 apple chopped (I used honeycrisp)
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 pound fresh ground chorizo
In a large soup pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook anther 5 minutes. Add the chipotle peppers and the two teaspoons adobo sauce, stir and cook another minute or so. Add the pumpkin puree and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken broth, add the chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer about 10 minutes over medium-low heat.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and blend until very smooth.
Add the cheddar cheese and cream, stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow the soup to simmer on the stove for 15 minutes while you make the topping.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over high heat. Combine the apple and brown sugar, then cook, turning, until caramelized. Set aside and wipe the pan clean. Add the chorizo and cook for 2-3 minutes until cooked through and crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel, reserving pan juices.
To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl topped with crispy chorizo and glazed apples. Drizzle with the chorizo oil left in the pan. Enjoy!