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Seared Scallops with Pumpkin Soup

By 10:42 AM , , , , , , ,

Clean. Have you ever tasted something and it just tasted clean? Clean and pure and simple.  That's exactly what I thought when I tasted this dish from Women's Health Magazine.

One of the reasons this recipe stuck out to me in the first place was the lack of a zillion ingredients and so it shouldn't have come as any surprise that the few ingredients really shined on their own.

The majority of things The Husband and I make have quite a bit of seasoning - whether that be for heat or for just flavor in general.  So, this very basic and mostly unseasoned dish was different for us.  But different is good, and we really enjoyed this meal (though I must admit, I did find myself thinking that a delicious twist on this might be adding in some chipotles in adobo!).

The soup itself is very pure tasting.  The pumpkin is hardly altered at all - with just a bit of chicken broth to thin it out and a touch of honey for sweetness. The scallops are simply seared.  The hazelnuts and chives add a good bit of flavor. The crunch of the nuts are a nice contrast to the silkiness of the scallops.

A quick note:
The recipe calls for using a cast-iron skillet - I didn't want to bother with pulling mine out (really I didn't want to have to deal with the cleaning of it) and used my Calphalon Nonstick Griddle Pan instead, which still gave my scallops great color.

Seared Scallops with Pumpkin Soup

12 oz fresh sea scallops
1 can (15 oz) unflavored pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp roughly chopped hazelnuts
8 to 10 chives, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Toast chopped hazelnuts, either in the oven (10 minutes at 400°F) or on the stove in a stainless-steel saute pan (5 to 7 minutes over medium heat, shaking often so they don't burn). Set aside.

Combine pumpkin, honey, butter, and broth in a medium saucepan, and heat the mixture on low until it's warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep the mixture warm.

Preheat a cast-iron skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Pat scallops dry with a paper towel and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Add oil to the pan, and then add scallops. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until they're firm, browned, and caramelized.

Pour soup into wide-rimmed serving bowls. Add scallops and hazelnuts, and garnish with chopped chives.

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