Earlier in the week, whilst browsing in the bulk food section of the grocery store, as one does, these beautiful shiny green seeds caught my magpie eye. I had to have some! I’ve tried roasting pumpkin seeds every halloween, with the coating on, and they always turn out a little too tough to eat. Here was the tender core! Oh boy. Pepita. So pretty! I vaguely remembered that pepita are used in a certain kind of mole, so I hopped it back to the produce section and bought myself a jalapeno pepper.
Flash forward to the soup meagre. My one rule about soup meagre (and a very flexible rule it is, too!) is that everything that goes in there should be green. Well, guess what! Pepita are green! Jalapenos are green…can you see where this is going?
This turned out to be one of the better soups I’ve ever made. (And I’ve made a lot of soup!) The taste of pumpkin seeds is hard to describe. Nutty, savory, pleasant in every way! And they’re very good for you too, apparently! Full of iron, which is a big concern of vegetarian moms everywhere!
Here’s Pepita by Calexico.
2 T olive oil
1 jalapeno, fangs and claws removed (seeds and veins) finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 plump clove garlic, minced
1 t sage
1 t oregano
1 t basil
cayenne to taste
1/3 cup white wine
1 cup of pumpkin seed kernals – toasted and ground as finely as you can
4 cups arugula and or lettuce
1 zucchini, chopped in small dice
Juice of half a lime, or to taste
knob of butter (unless you’re vegan!)
salt and plenty of black pepper
Warm the olive oil in a large soup pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and herbs. Cook a minute or two. Add the garlic. Add the zucchini and cook till it’s slightly soft and starting to brown. Add the white wine and cook till it’s a bit reduced and syrupy. Add the lettuce/arugula, roughly chopped. Stir and cook. Add the ground pumpkinseed kernals. Stir and cook. Add 1 t. salt and water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, till the zucchini is nice and soft.
Add lime juice, butter, if using, and plenty of pepper.
Blend in small batches (careful! Hold the lid on!) till it’s smooth and light green and velvety.