Fall plays a generous host to countless heartwarming dishes made of lovely seasonal fall splendor; the pièce de résistance always being the rotund, tawny, iconic pumpkin. However, the pumpkin’s culinary potential is constantly underappreciated, and all too often, it is relegated to a pitiful pie position in fall cooking, but pumpkins have so much more to offer! They are versatile wonders suitable for sweet and savory meals, and can be used to make anything from creamy pasta sauce, to all manner of decadent quinces, and, best of all: soup. This is one of my favorite recipes, and, I believe, places the pumpkin firmly up on the pedestal it deserves after years of being undervalued. Like all recipes should be, this is just a starting blueprint, and I encourage you to experiment with whatever ingredients you have on hand!
Spiced pumpkin soup:
- 1 pumpkin (I used a sugar pumpkin)
- 2-3 tbs. olive oil
- Spices – use what you have, but this is what I suggest:
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. curry powder
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. coriander
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp. honey (optional)
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1” nub of ginger
- 1/2 stock cube
- 1 x 14oz can coconut milk
- 2-3 cups of water
Optional Vegetable Additions: These will enhance the soup’s flavor, but are not completely necessary.
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 2-4 carrots
- 2-4 stalks of celery
- 1 bell pepper
- Cut your pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and set aside. Then cut the pumpkin into even wedges. Place wedges in a large bowl and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine 2 tbs. of oil, the spices, and honey (if using) before pouring the oil mix onto the chopped pumpkin and tossing.
- Spread pumpkin on a lined baking sheet and roast at 425° F, turning occasionally, until the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork, or about 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool. If you want to use other vegetables, chop them now and place them in the oven to roast, flipping occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
- Once cool, use a spoon to remove your pumpkin’s skin. Meanwhile, take your stock cube and dissolve in a cup of hot water.
- In a large pot, combine ~ 2 tbs. of oil, onion, garlic, and ginger and cook on medium heat until the aromatics are golden.
- Meanwhile, add your pumpkin (and other vegetables) with the dissolved stock cube water in a blender and blend until completely emulsified.
- Once your aromatics are caramelized, add the blended vegetables, coconut milk and water (make sure to leave at least an inch of room at the top of the pot). Leave the soup to simmer on medium-high for 30+ minutes.
- When your soup has reduced, taste to see if you need any salt, pepper or more spices.
- Once finished, serve topped with your choice of cinnamon, chopped parsley, chili flakes or pumpkin seeds!
However, what to do now with those little pumpkin seeds? Well, worry not, weary chef, because you can quite easily save those seeds from rotting away by making some delicious, dried pumpkin seeds!
- Wash your pumpkin seeds and any attached pumpkin guts in cold water, removing the seeds from the pumpkin innards best you can.
- Place the pumpkin seeds in a small pot of salted boiling water and boil for about five minutes, until the seeds have floated to the top, clean of any remaining pumpkin residue.
- Drain the seeds and pat them dry before placing them on a lined baking sheet. Cover the seeds with ~ 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt, and any choice of seasoning.
- There are endless possibilities for seasoning your pumpkin seeds, but some lovely options include – honey, maple syrup, chili and garlic, cinnamon and brown sugar – whatever your heart desires.
- Place in the oven at 300° F and cook for 5-15 minutes, stirring every five minutes to check done-ness. Remove when the seeds are golden brown and let cool. The seeds will still be slightly chewy when hot from the oven, but should crisp up once cool; if not, place back in the oven for five more minutes.
- Enjoy! Eat on the go, give them to your friends or store up to three months in a sealed dry container.
It’s no debate that soup is the ultimate emotional comfort food, and this heart-warming, scrumptious, spiced pumpkin soup is no exception.