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Soup as culture


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Soup as culture

  1. 1. Soup as CultureThis article was originally published on the Acclaro blog.Category: Culture"A soup like this is not the work of one man. It is the result of a constantly refined tradition.There are nearly a thousand years of history in this soup." - Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927)Soup is the history and soul of a culture. There are thousands of different types of soup, eachdistinctive and each defining a culture. Think about different countries and then think of thesoup associated with each one: Russia. France. Japan. Mexico. Thailand. Did you smell borscht,French onion soup, menudo, miso and tom yum? Plus, within each country, there are regionalsoups. In the States, we have clam chowder from New England, gumbo from New Orleans, andchili from the Southwest. Hungry yet?Recently, the Acclaro San Francisco team went to Frugal Foodies in Berkeley and prepared ameal together (a four-course meal disguised as a team-building exercise!). Wearing our newAcclaro aprons and wielding knives, graters, spatulas, and whisks, we whipped up our lunch injust over an hour.Lunch consisted of: Wild greens salad with persimmons and pomegranate seeds Spicy Mexican pumpkin soup Eggplant terrine Flourless chocolate cake with caramel saucePage 1: Soup as Culture Copyright © Acclaro 2012
  2. 2. Here we are, the proud chefs, with our meal:Now lets talk about the soup course. We all know, ofcourse, soup should have its own course!After all, its culture in a bowl. Included in the bowl arelocal ingredients such as vegetables, meats or seafood,and spices. Or perhaps it does not contain certain itemsdepending on local customs and religious beliefs. Its acomfort food (chicken soup for a cold, goulash for acold winter day) and its an affordable all-in-one meal.Its the multi-tasker of the food world. Its madefamous in TV shows (think Seinfeld) and movies (thinkMarx Brothers). Its, thank goodness, forgiving.Being Thanksgiving time, spicy Mexican pumpkin soupis especially relevant for this time of year. Plus, its abit of Mexico in a bowl. The smell of pumpkin, crushedred pepper, and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) reminded allof us of our culturally-rich and food-loving neighbor to the south.Page 2: Soup as Culture Copyright © Acclaro 2012
  3. 3. Cant get to Mexico or a Mexican restaurant fast enough? Well, make the soup. It takes lessthan 40 minutes. Heres the recipe:Spicy Mexican Pumpkin SoupIngredients½ C whipping cream½ C sour cream1 t fresh lime juice6 T butter6 C finely chopped onions60 oz solid pack pumpkin2 C whole milk1 ¼ t dried crushed red pepper9 C fake chicken broth¾ cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toastedInstructions 1. Whisk first 3 ingredients in small bowl. Cover; chill 1 hour. (Mexican cream can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled.) 2. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 10 minutes. 3. Mix in pumpkin, milk and crushed red pepper. 4. Working in batches, puree mixture in processor. Return to pot. 5. Add broth; simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. 6. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool. Cover and chill. Bring to simmer before continuing.) 7. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with cream. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.Serves 14 (have a party!)About Acclaro: Acclaro is an international translation and localization company thathelps the world’s leading brands succeed across cultures. We specialize in websitetranslation, marketing translations, document translation and software localization togive clients an authentic voice in key language markets. North America: 1-866-468-5106 Worldwide: +1-914-468-0222 www.acclaro.comsales@acclaro.comPage 3: Soup as Culture Copyright © Acclaro 2012