Sweet-Sour Pumpkin Soup
with Tomatoes and Dill

Many, many years ago, I found this recipe - at least its original version - in a public library in Celle, my beautiful hometown. Ever since, there has only been one autumn that didn't find me in the kitchen making this very flavorful and brightly colorful soup. (I was studying at R.I.T. Am I excused? ;-) ) Anyway, each time I've made this soup I've tried to improve it just a teeny-tiny little bit and now the recipe is available in my Cyber Kitchen. This is not a soup for the hearty eater, mind you. It's rather an exquisite delicacy that will tickle your pampered tongue!

Ingredients to serve 2 to 4:

1 lb. pumpkin flesh - see Tip 1
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups vegetable broth
7 teaspoons good-quality honey
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
salt, black pepper
2 tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped dill

Tip 1: A 2-pound Jack Be Little, Munchkin, or Spookie pumpkin yields about 1 pound flesh. Other flavorful, but bigger-growing varieties include acorn, butternut and Hubbard.

Tip 2: Please, look at "7 teaspoons good-quality honey and 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar" as a starting point; this'll produce a mildly-sweet-sour-tasting soup. Because there are so many different types of pumpkins (and God only knows how many degrees of ripeness...), you may end up using more honey and/or vinegar. Dare to experiment and let your tongue be your guide! (Personally, I use a lot more - approximately twice as much - of both ingredients for a strong sweet-sour taste!)

Preparation (about 40 minutes):

1. Peel and seed the pumpkin and - preferably using a kitchen appliance - finely grate its flesh.

2. In a large pot, melt the butter and saute the pumpkin flesh and chopped onion for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, honey, and sherry vinegar. Simmer for 20 minutes.

3. If needed, season to your personal taste using more honey and vinegar (and salt and pepper). The soup is supposed to have a distinct sweet-sour taste, however, it shouldn't overpower the pumpkin flavor - see Tip 2.

4. Peel, seed, and finely dice the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes and chopped dill to the soup just before serving. Let the tomatoes heat up ...

... and serve with a glass of well-chilled chablis (or similar white wine) and some toasted French bread. Light some candles and ... Enjoy! ;-)