Spicy Pumpkin Soup:
This week I can finally feel the seasons changing. The weather is cooling down and it’s getting darker earlier…and I’m ready! I can’t help but start craving fall’s harvest foods. Hearty soups, stews and warm drinks are on the menu plan and since our cooler weather got started late, my kids are pressuring me about Halloween and pumpkins. I wanted to get them excited so I made the family this delicious spicy pumpkin soup. I love pumpkin soup and my kids love that I served the soup in roasted carved-out sugar pumpkins. The flavors of sauteed onions, garlic, curry spices, brown sugar and pumpkin had our home smelling like an authentic bohemian harvest moon festival!
Ali in the Valley
Photo by: Ali
Recipe for Spicy Pumpkin Soup:
4 Tbsp unsalted butter or 4 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil (lighter version) 2 medium yellow onions, chopped 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional) 2 teaspoons curry powder 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander Pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional) 3 (15 oz) cans 100 percent pumpkin or 6 cups of chopped roasted pumpkin purée* 5 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option)** 2 cups of milk 1/2 cup brown sugar Parsley (chopped) for garnish
*To make pumpkin purée, cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a tin-foil lined baking pan. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Microwave version: clean seeds and stringy stuff, puncture flesh with fork numerous times and cook (with top of pumpkin off) on high for 10 minutes.
Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add spices and stir for a minute more. Add pumpkin and 5 cups of chicken broth; blend well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer soup, in batches, to a blender or food processor or use hand held mixer. Cover tightly and blend until smooth. Return soup to saucepan. With the soup on low heat, add brown sugar and mix. Slowly add milk while stirring to incorporate. Adjust seasonings to taste. If a little too spicy, add more milk to cool it down. You might want to add a teaspoon of salt.
Serve in leftover sugar pumpkins or in individual bowls. Garnish with parsley.