Pumpkin Soup with Cappucino of Roasted Cumin and Duck Fois Gras Dumpling
Choose your small pumpkins wisely for this lovely dish, for they are your serving bowls. Thick, beautifully seasoned pumpkin and squash soup fills the pumpkin bowls and is served with crisp fried sticks of creamy foie gras. Chef Henriroux says just eat those with your fingers.
- Pumpkin Soup
- Pumpkin - 1, small (alt. winter squash)
- Acorn Squash - 1
- Salt Pork - 3/4 cup, diced (alt. bacon)
- Leeks - 2, white part only, cleaned and chopped
- Garlic Cloves - 2, minced
- Onion - 1 small, sliced
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Thyme - 1 sprig
- Parsley - 1 sprig, stemmed
- Bay Leaf - 1
- Chicken Stock (see Basics) - 2 cups
- Unsalted Butter - 4 ounces (1 stick)
- Foie Gras Dumplings
- Duck Foie Gras - 1/2 pound
- Canola oil for deep-fat frying
- Flour - 1 cup
- Dry Bread Crumbs - 1-1/2 cups, fine
- Egg - 1, lightly beaten
- Roasted Cumin Cappucino
- Cumin Powder - 1 tablespoon
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup, beaten to firm peaks
- Coarse sea salt - 1 cup
- Pink Peppercorns - 1/4 cup, whole
To prepare the pumpkins: Carefully cut the stem and top from the pumpkins, leaving an opening suitable for serving the soup. Reserve the tops. Scoop out the seeds. Put the tops and pumpkins on the side of the stove to warm and dry slightly while the remainder of the dish is prepared.
To prepare the soup: Cut open the pumpkin or squash and scoop out the seeds. Cut out the meat and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Repeat for the acorn squash. Put the pork or bacon in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat and let it begin to melt. Add the leeks, garlic, and onions and stir; let cook until softened and slightly translucent, but not browned. Add the salt, cubed pumpkin and squash meat, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf and stir. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil; cover and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 30 minutes, until the pumpkin and squash are soft. Remove from heat and puree. Strain through a sieve and stir in the butter. Keep warm.
To prepare the foie gras sticks: Cut the foie gras into 16 sticks, 1/2-inch thick, approximately the size of chunky French fries. Trim the ends to make them all the same size. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Put the flour in a shallow bowl, and the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Heat the oil to 375 F in a deep-fat fryer or large deep skillet. Dip the foie gras pieces into the flour and roll around gently to coat; dust off the excess. Dip into the egg, then roll gently in the bread crumbs to coat. Put into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon or wire strainer and drain on paper towels. Fry in batches; do not crowd the pan, and allow the oil to return to temperature between batches.
To prepare the cappucino: Put the cumin in a small non-stick skillet and toast over medium-low heat until it becomes fragrant. Let cool slightly. Gently fold into the whipped cream.
To serve: Mix the sea salt and peppercorns. Spread mixture over one fourth of each plate. Place a pumpkin shell on each plate, anchoring one side of it in the salt mixture. Ladle soup into the pumpkin shells. Top each with a large dollop of the whipped cream mixture. Put the tops on the pumpkins. On the plate, opposite the salt, place two foie gras sticks parallel to each other, then top with two others placed crosswise. Place a large spoonful of the whipped cream mixture beside the foie gras sticks.