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Tasty Pumpkin Soup Recipe

A good pumpkin soup recipe is a necessary thing when fall comes around. Hallowe’en reminds us that pumpkins are the very symbol of autumn, and Thanksgiving celebrates the fall harvest. What better way to take off the chill than with a rich pumpkin soup with warm spices?

Many pumpkin soup recipes call for typical “pumpkin pie” spices, like nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. These are great in pies, I will agree, but there is a more savory and spicy option that I think works better in a main dish or starter soup. You can adjust the spiciness in this recipe to suit your taste.

INGREDIENTS:

4 Tbsp butter or olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 tsp garlic, finely chopped or minced
6 cups of roasted pumpkin, chopped
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy (35%) cream
Cayenne pepper to taste, or red pepper flakes
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown sugar (if desired)

DIRECTIONS:

1. To roast your pumpkin, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds (put them aside for later). Coat the inside flesh with a bit of olive oil and salt, and place in a roasting pan open side down. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour.

2. Heat oil or butter in soup pot, add onions, garlic and salt. Cook on medium low until onions become soft.

3. Add roasted pumpkin and chicken stock, bring to a slow boil, and reduce heat. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.

4. Use an immersion blender (hand blender) to puree the soup.

5. Add remaining spices and cream. Bring back to heat, and allow to simmer for a few more minutes to let the flavors mingle.

6. Taste the soup, and add more curry or cayenne if you like. If the heat is too much you can add a bit more cream or brown sugar to take the edge off.

Notes

Most squash works very well with curry spices, either alone or in combination. If you want to make your own curry powder, choose from any or all of the following spices, and grind them together by whatever method you have available (I use a coffee grinder kept solely for this purpose): Cumin, coriander, toasted fenugreek, turmeric, cayenne pepper. This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination, nor is it “authentic”, since there are many curry mixes from many places in Asia. Try things and choose what works for you.

Also, when making this pumpkin soup recipe, do not use pumpkins that were sold for Hallowe’en Jack Lanterns. They have been treated with a wax coating that will stop them from going soft too quickly. While the flesh inside might not be rotten, it also might not be fresh.

Tips and Techniques

The trick to making good toasted pumpkin seeds is to boil them first. This cooks them just enough so that the toasting part finishes the job, but without burning them. Simply simmer them for about ten minutes in slightly salty water (about 4 cups for every cup of seeds). Transfer to an oiled baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. You can also add other spices; I sometimes add paprika just for the color.

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