Hands down, creamy* pumpkin soup is among my favorite soups. I prefer my gourd soups to be savory, and haven't gotten as much satisfaction out of a sweeter, apple & squash soup that I do from this recipe (or ones like it.) Added bonus? this soup is really easy to play around with and use whatever herbs & spices you have on hand.
I have made this with canned pure pumpkin and by roasting pumpkin halves... Gotta say, I default to the canned method. One of the things I love about this soup is that it's a pantry-staple recipe that can come together in less than 30 minutes. Introducing a whole pumpkin into the mix ups the cooking time to more like an HOUR and 30 minutes, and doubles the amount of dirty dishes! But, if you want to roast, see the note at the end of the post & knock yourself out. Me? I'll stay lazy and impatient.
...I think I need to make another batch. SOON.
Smokey Pumpkin Soup
serves a lot (maybe 6-8 servings?)
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic
28oz pure pumpkin**
14.5oz diced tomatoes (fire-roasted, preferable)
1c cream (1/2 pint) (can use milk or 1/2 and 1/2)
4c chicken stock
2 chipotles + ~1tsp adobo sauce
2tsp smoked paprika (+more for garnish)
nutmeg, cinnamon & cayenne (~1/4tsp or less, to taste)
green onions (for garnish)
1. Melt butter/margarine over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, chipotles, thyme & rosemary. Cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 10 min.
2. Add tomatoes and let cook until fragrant, about 2 min.
3. Add pumpkin puree and cook for 5-10min.
4. Add chicken stock and let simmer. Taste & season. And throw in smoked paprika, cinnamon, cayenne & nutmeg. Simmer for as long as you are distracted. And immersion blender it up!*
5. Add cream. Taste & season.
6. Serve. Garnish with cut scallions and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Maybe some Crusty bread? A sprinkle of cheese?
a) Take out the smoked paprika,*** cayenne, and chipotles and add: more rosemary & thyme, and a healthy portion of sage to make a true harvest/fall pumpkin soup. If feeling crazy, replace maybe half the chicken stock with apple juice.
b) Replace chipotles with more cayenne/red pepper flakes for a stronger, earlier heat.
c) Add. Bacon.
d) Add shredded chicken/pork/beef.
e) Add black beans & cumin.
*I kinda prefer a more "rustic" (read: lazy) soup, and don't care that it's not perfectly smooth, so an immersion blender works fine for me. This step could also be done as part of #3. If you don't have an immersion blender... get one! In the meantime, you can blend this in batches in a stand blender. Also, I would recommend a stand blender & strainer if you want a smoother soup.
**To use a whole pumpkin: cut pumpkin in half and scrap out all seeds and strings. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of any spices/herbs you are planning on using in the soup. On a foil-lined baking sheet, roast at 375-400F until fork-tender (I'd wager this is around 35-60minutes, flipping the halves halfway through.) Remove from oven & let cool until you can handle. Scoop out the flesh & puree in blender or food processor. Continue recipe as above.
***BALDERDASH! Smoked paprika on EVERYTHING!