Pumpkin Bisque with Cranberry Oil Swirl

Adapted from Taste of Canada

2009 Nov/Dec

This fantastic winter combo is the creation of one of Canada’s best-known food writers, Rose Murray. The cranberry oil needs a chance to infuse overnight, so start it a day ahead.

Ingredients:

  • 1 T. canola or olive oil
  • 1 T. butter
  • 2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 5 c. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 19-oz. can pumpkin purée
  • 1 T. chopped fresh thyme, or 1 t. dried
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 c. half-and-half or whole milk
  • Cranberry Oil:
  • 1/2 c. fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

In a large saucepan, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and carrot and cook for 10 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the stock, pumpkin purée, thyme, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste.

Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft. Cool slightly, then purée with a hand-held immersion blender, or transfer to a blender to purée in batches. Add the half-and-half or milk, heat the bisque through, and adjust the seasoning.

To make the cranberry oil, pulse the cranberries in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the oil and refrigerate to mascerate overnight. When you’re ready to use it, press the mixture through a fine sieve, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon, to extract the cranberry oil. Serve the soup hot, with the cranberry oil drizzled generously on top. Serves 8.