One thing I love about my job as a correspondent on NBC’s California Live is getting to interview so many phenomenal chefs! I learn something new from every one of them, and I love to play it forward and pass their tips on to you. Probably my favorite fall harvest food to cook with is pumpkin, and did you know that all pumpkins are squashes, but not all squashes are pumpkins?
Chef Gus of Jack O’Neill Restaurant, a beautiful dining establishment overlooking Santa Cruz beach in California, taught me his phenomenal method for this Harvest Pumpkin Bisque. The soup was creamy and velvety, with just the right amount of sweet and savory notes. What was most impressive is the soup retained its beautiful pumpkin flavor, not drowned out by cream:
There are only 4 ingredients in this masterpiece, but his technique ensures success everytime. All you have to do is roast the pumpkin with olive oil, salt and pepper. He uses the “sweating” technique to cook the onions in olive oil. The onions become soft and transluscent, adding a mild sweet flavor to the pumpkin. Cooked together these ingredients with a dash of butter create a bowl of comfort, ready to be dunked with crusty bread.
If you do live in Northern California, Chef Gus is celebrating all things pumpkin for the month of October, from pumpkin spiced chicken and waffles to pumpkin snickerdoodles!
To see Chef Gus’s masterful technique, click on my new video below:
HARVEST PUMPKIN BISQUE
PUMPKIN SOUP RECIPE Harvest Pumpkin Bisque
- 3-5 pound pumpkin
- 2 yellow onionS
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ pound unsalted butter
- sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- Begin by splitting the pumpkin into 4 wedges (cut around the stem). Remove the seeds, save for later. Lay the pumpkin wedges skin side down on a roasting rack. Season with olive oil, salt, and cracked pepper. Put pumpkin wedges in a 350-degree oven until they are cooked through roughly 20-30min. While the pumpkin is cooking, peel your onions slicein slivers. Using a heavy bottom pot, add remaining olive oil and onions to the pot. Cook the onions on low-med heat until they’re sweated through. Once the pumpkin is cooked remove from oven set aside and let cool 10-15min, while warm use a large a spoon to scrap meat from skin, discard the skins and add the pumpkin to the onions cover the ingredients with water and simmer for 10-15 min. Begin blending by adding ¼ of the mixture at a time. Once the mixture is in, begin to blend on low setting (MAKE SURE THE LID IS ON). While its blending add a ¼ stick of butter. Season with salt and cracked pepper to taste. It is important to season as go. Pour and serve garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds, chopped apple, your favorite herb, or a simple dash of your favorite olive oil.