It is officially pumpkin season!
We have already seen coffee shops donned with pumpkin spice latte banners–persuading those passing by to follow the freshly steamed pumpkin spice aroma. Pumpkins can be added as flavor to our morning cup of caffeine or they can be mashed into a crust and served with whipped cream on top. Funny enough, they are a close relative of cucumbers, although pumpkins are arguably a more versatile vegetable. We are taking an old-fashioned approach and enjoying pumpkins as a savory side–a perfect complement to many fall-inspired meals. Try this pumpkin soup, which can be tweaked in many different and delightful ways, and welcome the cool weather headed to our doors.
1 4 lb Sugar Pie Pumpkin
4 tbsp. Olive Oil, divided
1 large Yellow Onion, chopped
4 large or 6 medium Garlic Cloves, pressed or minced
½ tsp. Sea Salt
½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
⅛ tsp. Cloves
4 cups (32 ounces) Vegetable Broth
½ cup Full Fat Coconut Milk
2 tbsp. Maple Syrup or Honey
¼ cup Pepitas (Green Pumpkin Seeds)
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Dash of Cayenne Pepper (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Carefully halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Save the seeds for roasting if you want a nice topping or snack.
- Slice each pumpkin halve in half to make quarters. Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil over the flesh of the pumpkin and place the quarters, cut sides down, onto the baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes or longer, until the orange flesh is easily pierced through with a fork. Set it aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add onion, garlic, and salt to the skillet. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. In the meantime, peel the pumpkin skin off the pumpkins and discard the skin.
- Add the pumpkin flesh, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cayenne pepper (if using), and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Use your stirring spoon to break up the pumpkin a bit. Pour in the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, to give the flavors time to blend.
- While the soup is cooking, toast the pepitas in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, golden and making little popping noises. You want them to be nice and toasty, but not burnt. Transfer pepitas to a bowl to cool.
- Once the pumpkin mixture is done cooking, stir in the coconut milk and maple syrup. Remove the soup from heat and let it cool slightly. You can use an immersion blender to blend this soup in the pot. Working in batches, transfer the contents of the pan to a blender. Securely fasten the blender’s lid and use a kitchen towel to protect your hand from steam escaping from the top of the blender as you purée the mixture until smooth. Transfer the puréed soup to a serving bowl and repeat with the remaining batches.
- Taste and adjust if necessary. You can add more coconut milk for extra creaminess/milder flavor, or maple syrup to make it sweeter.
- Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Sprinkle pepitas over the soup and serve. Let leftover soup cool completely before refrigerating.
Although this is the month of the pumpkin, the kabocha squash also works well. You could even toss in a butternut squash if your spirit moves you. If you are short on time and/or energy, instead of roasting the pumpkin, you can substitute two to three cans of pumpkin purée. Just skip steps 1 and 2 and add two cans of pumpkin purée in step 4. You will still want to blend the soup for the best texture; add more pumpkin purée at that point if you would like a thicker soup. Enjoy!