December 22, 2002
Squash Soup with Pumpkin Seed Oil
posted by Nadia

My mom is so classy. For lunch, she served a super-elegant squash soup drizzled with drops of heavy cream and Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil. It looked all fancy and restaurant-like, and tasted it too. My mother volunteers at Sur La Table when they have cooking classes and presentations, and so is constantly meeting big-name chefs and using fancy ingredients that I've never heard of before. Apparently, she was so impressed by the pumpkin seed oil used in one of the classes that she bought herself a bottle and has since been using it to impress folks like you and me. The oil, when drizzled on soup, is a dark reddish-brown -- but when you swirl it around a bit with your spoon, it suddenly becomes greenish and (according to the publicists at "looks like old motor oil." Despite the unappetizing description, I urge you, dear readers, to try pumpkinn seed oil when you get a chance. It has a very deep, nutty flavor that really highlights the inadequacies of the English language when it comes to describing flavors and aromas. It's obviously used most often as a highlighting sort of garnish, because the flavor is too intense for cooking and may even overwhelm salad dressings. Unfortunately, it's also costs a pretty penny ... Which is why I was particularly excited to get a bottle for Christmas (thanks, Mama!). When we get back to Philly, I hope to experiment with it and report back.