We also love all the scary stuff and costumes, and Twisted Oak’s River of Skulls has been a favorite seasonal wine as you can read in this post.
So when a friend of mine sent me this recipe a month ago for a pumpkin soup, I knew we’d be having it during this Halloween season. She also suggested that I pair it with a merlot, specifically Ghost Pines (and she even sent me a bottle! DISCLAIMER.)
Merlot with pumpkin soup? This I had to try. To my mind, it’s not an obvious match so I was sure curious!
Even with our love for all things pumpkin, with how busy I’ve been lately getting ready for the Women’s Conference, I kept putting it off.
With Halloween tomorrow, I knew it was now or never: time to open that bottle of Ghost Pines to enjoy while I make the soup and we work on our son’s dragon costume.
The Ghost Pines merlot (by Louis Martini) features a real cork which I found refreshing; I really hate those plastic ones which I’m finding more and more on “supermarket” wines like this one, even on bottles of wine which sell in the $12-20 range (again like this one).
When I first opened it, it seemed a bit closed but as we worked on the costume, it opened up nicely. A 2007 made from 95% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Syrah, 1% Tempranillo, and 1% Tannat from both Napa and Sonoma, the alcohol is a reasonable 14% and well balanced: not at all “hot,” and lots of berry: raspberry, blackberry and blueberry, too, with some vanilla toast. As it’s opened longer, I’m getting some mint and earth. This Ghost Pines 2007 merlot is definitely helping with the making of the dragon costume.
And the wine is certainly aiding in the making of this super simple soup! I simplified it even more by using organic free range chicken broth rather than making my own.
Here’s the recipe. You don’t have to make it for Halloween, you know. It’d still be a great choice for Day of the Dead! (Just kidding…)
Super Simple Pumpkin Soup:
1 15-ounce can pumpkin (go ahead and roast your own! yummy! I used 2 cans to make it thicker)
2 cups homemade chicken broth (or purchased)
1 cup milk (I used 1/2 c low fat and 1/2 cup half and half)
1 tablespoon brown sugar (I used 2 T)
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon (I used 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice–love cloves, ginger and cardamom!)
Sour cream (we passed on this…)
In large saucepan, stir together pumpkin, broth and milk. Stir in brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Bring to a light boil, reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes and serve with a dollop of sour cream. For an unexpected twist, garnish with fried sage leaves.
We garnished with sage leaves browned in butter and pine nuts. I would have used pumpkin seeds if they were ready, but we haven’t roasted ours yet. We’ll do this when we have the leftover soup again tomorrow!
Seriously, this pumpkin soup is so simple and so good! If I had realized HOW easy it would be to make, I would have made it before!
What was the verdict from the other costume makers in the house?
My 6 year old son said the soup was sooo good he had to give me a hug, which he did and then it was so good he had to dance around! And his daddy liked it a lot too.
And yes it did pair well with the merlot! The pumpkin and spice in the soup brought out the jammy fruit in the wine; the wine accentuated the pumpkin flavor and the earthiness in the soup. I especially loved the crispy buttery sagey leaves and the rich pine nuts.
(Even if I have my doubts about the label…that’s a deciduous tree not a pine!)