We're plunging into fall here and I'm having a very hard time saying 'no' to pumpkins. Little Smith is pretty obsessed with them (they do look like a whole bunch of orange balls- and balls are his 'thing')... every time we go to the farmer's market he pleads for a new pumpkin and I've already given in twice. That means it's time for some pumpkin cooking! Luckily there wasn't a traumatic reaction to the pumpkin slaughter, I was a little worried.
My most classic fiasco with pumpkin soup was when I attempted to cook it in its own hollowed out shell. I made it for Big Smith's birthday and ended up with a flood of molten soup all over the kitchen counters and floor. I think that's the closest I've come to crying over a cooking mishap. Since then I like to keep it simple, and also use bowls. This is a very low maintenance soup that packs more flavor than it's few ingredients suggest.
Pumpkin Soup: adapted slightly from 'Winter Squash' by the fabulous 'Smitten Kitchen'
- 1 medium sugar pumpkin (mine was a little over 4lbs whole)
- 1/4 c butter, plus more for preparing pumpkin
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp thyme, minced
- 2 tsp sage, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 5 c vegetable stock
- 1/8 c heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Lay the halves on a baking sheet and rub lightly with butter. Roast until tender, about 40 minutes.
Heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the onions and garlic. Saute until softened but not browned, about ten minutes.
Add the herbs, spices and pumpkin, then add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes or until the squash is very soft.
Puree the whole mixture using an immersion blender. (This can also be done in batches in the blender, returning to the same pot- but you should allow it to cool a little first for safety).
Mix in the cream and add salt and pepper to taste. If you want to store the soup in the fridge or the freezer, do it before adding the cream which can be mixed in when reheating.
We enjoyed our soup topped with shaved parmesan and with a side of cheddar sage popovers. It's a perfect meal for a cozy fall evening.
I love these simple flavors, and so does Little Smith who used gobble this soup up even back in his spoon feeding days. The splash of cream does add a wonderful richness, but the vegan version is still tasty.
That's one pumpkin down... and I predict many more to go. Next year I think we should plant some pumpkins!