Turn October pumpkins into soup for a chilly November day. This simple recipe adds honey and cumin to roasted pumpkin puree for hearty soup. Top with toasted seeds for an added salty bite.
Looking around the kitchen for something to cook, October’s pumpkin is sad and lonely, sitting on the kitchen counter. In the true spirit of fall, roast pumpkin soup is the perfect dinner for a chilly November evening. It’s a great supper for one, or an easy starter for dinner with guests.
Without the aid of cream or milk, this soup is silky, smooth all on its own. Honey or molasses adds sweetness to the pumpkin and a touch of cumin and cinnamon give it a spicy earthiness. A childhood favorite, toasted pumpkin seeds are a wonderful snack on their own, and add a salty, crunch when sprinkled on top of this soup.
Pumpkin soup, makes 4 servings
1 medium-sized pumpkin
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
4 cups organic-unsalted vegetable stock(*or make your own)
2 stalks sage
1 tbsp honey or molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
* Make your own vegetable stock: Keep all your vegetable scraps in a container in the freezer. Every time you cut an onion, peel a carrot, or mince garlic, save the trimmings, peelings and shells. When you have a large amount of scraps, about 4-6 cups, make vegetable stock. Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium low-heat in a heavy duty stock pot. Saute one medium-sized onion and two small carrots, small diced, until translucent and tender. Add the vegetable trimmings and fill the pot with water. Add any fresh herbs you have such as parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Cook for 45 minutes to extract the full flavor of the vegetables. Strain. Use for soups, sauces, and braising. To store, allow stock to cool completely and place in a air-tight container. Keep refrigerated for up to two weeks or freeze for future use.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 300 F. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop the stringy insides out, throwing away the meat and placing the seeds into a colander placed in the sink. Cut the pumpkin halves into two pieces each and place onto a half sheet tray, covering with foil. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender.
2. While the pumpkin is roasting, rinse the seeds until all residue is removed. Place the seeds onto a second sheet tray and toss with the 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and cracked black pepper. Place on a second rack in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove, toss seeds around and back again for 5. Continue baking until seeds are golden brown, tossing every 5 minutes to prevent burning. Remove from oven when golden brown, and set aside to cool.
3. While the seeds and pumpkin is in the oven, cut the onion into 1/2-inch pieces. Remove the skin from the garlic and smash it with the heel of the knife.
4. When the pumpkin is tender, remove it from the oven. Working carefully, as the pumpkin will be very hot, scoop the meat from the pumpkin into a bowl, being careful not to include any skin pieces. Place aside.
5. Heat a medium size, heat duty stock pot over a medium-low flame. Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, the onions, garlic, and sage. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. When the onions have become translucent, add the pumpkin meat and stir to combine. Add the vegetable stock.
6. Place a towel on your counter top and place your stock pot on top of the towel, removing it from the stove. Remove the sage. Using a hand-held stick blender, carefully puree soup until smooth and creamy, or working in batches, transfer soup into a blender and puree. Transfer back into pot and move pot back onto stove.
7. Add the honey, cumin, and cinnamon. Add a good handful of salt and a sprinkle of white pepper(be careful, it’s more potent than black pepper). Taste the soup and adjust seasoning if needed. Bring to a boil and pour into serving bowls. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds.
8. Cool soup completely before storing(if you don’t eat it all!). Store in sealed Tupperware in the refrigerator or freezer. Store pumpkin seeds in sealed Tupperware or plastic bag in a cool, dry place.