I still find it hard to believe; we hosted two dinner parties on the patio this past weekend. Yes, it was actually comfortable enough to dine alfresco on those evenings. Remember, this is St. Paul, Minnesota! Trust me on this -- it's a rare occurrence and something we've never done this late in the year. I'm not sure it will ever happen again. As of this week, however, it's all changed. Cold and gray is what it's all about now and my favorite, warming soups are beginning to show up on my menus -- along with some much-loved Rosés. I just can't bear to give them up quite yet.
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 cup finely-diced onion
• 1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin
• 1 quart organic chicken broth
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• Half & Half, for thinning the soup
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 boneless chicken breasts, large dice (recipe below), or comparable amount of roasted chicken, shredded
1. Melt butter in a 3-quart soup pot and sauté the onions over medium-low heat until softened and transparent. Do not let them brown.
2. Add the broth to the pot, along with the pumpkin and wild rice. Cook until heated through, adding salt and pepper to taste.
3. Just before serving, over low heat, pour in the heavy cream. Stir in the chicken and add enough Half & Half for a desired consistency (I probably used about 1 cup, plus). Adjust seasoning if necessary.
THE WAY I LIKE TO COOK CHICKEN BREASTS: Preheat oven to 375˚F. Take a cast iron skillet and drizzle bottom with olive oil. Add the chicken breasts and drizzle those with a bit more olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place on middle rack of oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until done.
TAKE a LOOK: