Randall Price, Chef, Ecole de Cuisine du Prince Jardinier, Chateau de la Bourdaisiere, joined us Saturday for a fabulous Food and Wine class. An old friend of The Cooking School, Randall delighted students and staff with his delicious French dishes - accompanied with wines selected by Dave Schmerr, Jungle Jim's wine expert. Randall, considered a master of French pastry, returned Monday for a hand's-on Pâte à Choux class, where students learned to make three different French pastries.
Randall with Jungle Jim's sous chefs Ellen and Janet
We talked in class about Randall sharing another recipe with us for the blog - we ended up trading Ellen's slider recipe for the soup recipe below! He was intrigued when he tried a slider from the Game Grub Class, and plans to make them in France for the grandchildren of the Countess de Rohan-Chabot. Randall is currently completing work on his first book Cooking for Joy that will be published in French this fall and in English at a later date. The Cooking School is working with Randall to plan a special At The Chef's Table dinner and wine tasting evening for our next brochure. Visit Randall's website at: Randall Price
Soupe au Potiron au Curry
(Pumpkin Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk)
from Chef Randall Price, Ecole de Cuisine du Prince Jardinier, Chateau de la Bourdaisiere, France
Pumpkin soup is a cold-weather favorite throughout France. My additions of curry and coconut milk give it a contemporary, exotic twist. It makes a great as a do-ahead first course for a dinner party, because it tastes even better the day after it is made. At the Chateau de la Bourdaisiere I make this with Italian ‘zucca’ squash, which has very thick, firm flesh. Regular pumpkin works well, and this soup is also delicious if you replace the pumpkin with butternut squash or sweet potatoes.
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts, thinly sliced and washed
2 tablespoons butter
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 pounds of pumpkin, butternut squash or sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 pound baking potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and sliced
1 can (13.5 ounce) unsweetened coconut milk
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Small toasted croutons
In a large pot, place the leeks and the butter with a couple tablespoons of water. Cover and sweat over low heat until the leeks have softened, 3-5 minutes. Mix together the ginger, curry powder, cumin and paprika. Uncover the pot and stir in the spice mix. Cook, stirring, until the spices are fragrant. Add the pumpkin (or squash or sweet potatoes) and the sliced potatoes and pour in enough water to cover them by about an inch. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the squash and potatoes are so tender they fall apart easily, 30 - 40 minutes.
Puree the soup. Mix in the coconut milk. If necessary, thin the soup with a little water. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Serve hot, with the cilantro stirred in just at the time you serve. Pass croutons separately, if desired.
This soup is even better when made up to three days in advance. Cool it completely before covering, then store it in the refrigerator.
Makes about 8 servings