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Food & Entertaining

Pumpkin Soup

Author: Sydney Dye
Issue: November, 2015, Page 78
Perfect for Cool Weather

A rich and creamy pumpkin soup satisfies the body and the soul

Fall means a foray into all things pumpkin, and we couldn’t be more excited. In our recipe for Pumpkin Soup, we combine this popular member of the squash family with crisp apples and heavy cream for a decadent yet nutritious cool weather treat. Chock-full of vitamins A, E and C, as well as beta carotene, organic and locally sourced pumpkins can be found at farmers’ markets or plucked directly from a pumpkin patch. Pumpkins are also rich in fiber and low in calories, making them a healthy source of fall
flavor that we just can’t get enough of. Impress your guests and give your dishwasher a break by serving the soup in small, hollowed out pumpkins. Check out the many heirloom varieties available in stores to use as bowls or for extra decoration to bring additional character and color to your tabletop.


Serves 6

Pumpkin soup

1     medium pumpkin (about 10 to 12 inches in diameter)
3     tablespoons olive oil
1     medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
2     carrots, peeled and cut into medium dice
1     celery stalk, cut into small dice
1     medium apple, peeled, cored and cut into medium dice
2     cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
6     cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2  cup heavy cream
Crème fraîche, roasted and salted shelled  pepitas, and chives, finely chopped, for garnish

Photography by Garrett Cook
 
1. Cut the pumpkin into quarters, and scrape out all of the seeds and stringy flesh. Place the quarters on a sheet tray skin-side up, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 350 degrees until soft or just golden brown (about one hour). Once cool, peel off the skin and cut into 2-inch cubes. Save any juices from the sheet tray.

2. In a large stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic, onion, carrots, celery and apple and cook until just tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the roasted pumpkin, juices and stock. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.

3. Run the soup through a food mill (or food processor fitted with blade attachment) until smooth. Return the soup to the stove and add cream and more stock if necessary until desired consistency is reached. Pour soup into individual small roasted pumpkins to serve.

Garnish with crème fraîche, pepitas and chives.




 


Chef’s Notes:
•Pepitas is the Spanish term for pumpkin seeds. They are available in most grocery stores and can be purchased already shelled, roasted and salted.

•Crème fraîche is a matured cream available in many stores. Make your own by combining 1 cup of whipping cream with 2 tablespoons of buttermilk. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours. Stir well. Once thickened, cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days.
 
•For a quicker version of this recipe, purchase butternut squash already peeled and cubed (approximately 4 cups) and substitute for the pumpkin. Place squash on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees until tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Sydney Dye is a home gardener, chef and owner of First Fig Culinary Adventures in Scottsdale. (firstfig.net)
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