Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Shrimp, Farro, and Leeks
Impero Caffè, NYC
This soup from Scott Conant is both flavorful and striking in color.
- 3/4 cup farro
- 3 1/2 pound pumpkin, cut in half and seeds removed
- 1/2 butternut squash, seeds removed
- Olive oil as needed
- Salt to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 6 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/4 bulb fennel, chopped
- 1/4 bunch sage, chopped
- 1/4 bunch thyme, chopped
- Pinch chile flakes
- 1 whole star anise
- 2 cups shrimp or fish stock
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 dozen shrimp, deveined, cleaned, and cut in half lengthwise
- 1 leek, chopped
- Chives for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the pumpkin and squash halves flesh side up on a large sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt salt. Cover with aluminum foil and roast in the oven until tender and slightly browned, about an hour. Remove and let cool. Scrape out the flesh with a large spoon and reserve.
While the pumpkin and squash are roasting, make the farro. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the farro and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain any excess water from the farro and set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium pot over low heat. Add the shallots and slowly caramelize, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and sauté the fennel until slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted pumpkin and squash flesh, caramelized shallots, sage, thyme, chile flakes, and star anise. Add enough water to cover. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the star anise, then add the stock. Transfer the contents of the pot to a food processor or blender. Purée until smooth while slowing adding the extra virgin olive oil. through a fine-meshed sieve. Return the soup to a clean pot over low heat and cover to keep warm while you cook the shrimp and leeks.
Heat a little olive oil in a large sauté pan, Working in batches, sauté the shrimp until just opaque, about 5 minutes.
Heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the leeks until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the farro and shrimp and toss to combine.
Place a generous mound of the farro and shrimp mix in a serving bowl. Pour some soup around the farro. Garnish with chives.