Pumpkin soup

Tonight I finished my Christmas shopping and rewarded myself with a nice hot bowl of pumpkin soup.

A few days ago, I had a rather embarrassing pumpkin meltdown in my kitchen. I was trying to bake a Halloween pumpkin on a cookie sheet, but the pumpkin was a bit too big, and the juice flowed right out of the oven and over the floor.  Since then I have washed the floor, scraped the baked pumpkin into a bowl, and looked up some pumpkin soup recipes. I am also pleased to report the resulting pumpkin soup is rather good.

In looking for recipes, I noticed that the recipes were all alike in some ways.  They all started with about 2 cups of pumpkin and 3 cups broth, then added various sautéed vegetables and a teaspoon each of various spices, then finished with a half cup of cream.

I wanted a heart-healthy version, so that meant cooking down some chicken legs for unsalted broth, sautéing the veggies in olive oil, using fat-free half and half instead of cream, and honey instead of sugar. Since I had fresh pumpkin instead of canned, it also meant using onions, plus carrots and celery for a little stronger flavor.

Most recipes call for pepper. I have whole pepper but no pepper mill, so I hesitated to use whole peppercorns since it would be nearly impossible to find them for removal after cooking. Next time. I’m still trying to sort out Welsh rarebit; in the meantime, as a distant approximation, on the side I have Swedish rye bread with sharp cheddar melted on top.

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Here’s the whole recipe:

Pumpkin Soup

1/2 cup onion
2 stalks celery
2 carrots
2 cups pumpkin
3 cups chicken broth
olive oil for sauteeing
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup fat-free half and half

~Chop onion and celery in a blender, then sauté in olive oil.
~Blend pumpkin in the blender until smooth, adding a little of the chicken broth, then the salt, honey and spices, and the rest of the broth.
~If you are going to freeze the soup, do it before adding the cream, or if you are going to refrigerate it overnight, just put the onion mix back into the blender and mix it in with the pureed pumpkin that’s already in there before popping the blender container in the fridge.
~When you’re ready to eat the soup, put it back in a pan and cook it, then add the cream (without boiling) just before serving.

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Posted in Food. 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Pumpkin soup”

  1. Catanea Says:

    I cannot resist offering you my pumpkin soup recipe – used for many years, often with free pumpkins from neighbours’ vegetable patch:
    Two healthy fat leeks (white and some green part), sliced
    Any convenient amount of pumpkin (you can peel it and put it in raw (without the seeds, of course) or steam it ahead of time so as to have an easier time peeling it
    In a heavy pot (cast iron is good)
    Sauté the leeks gently in a little olive oil or butter (or some “heart-healthier” oil)
    Add pumpkin
    Add, at will, some garlic, white pepper (or other)
    Cover and allow to seethe on low heat for half an hour or so
    Allow to cool, and tip into the blender with any suitable amount of water (for thicker or thinner soup)
    Purée
    Tip back into the pot and heat to boiling
    Feel free to add other herbs or spices: curry can be very nice.
    Or saffron before the purée stage
    Wonderful on cold Autumn evenings
    Probably the accent doesn’t belong on “puree” as an American verb

  2. Nijma Says:

    Oh, thank you. That sounds delicious, and also not too complicated. Olive oil is the heart healthy alternative now recommended for a cardiac diet, probably for Omega-3.

    I ended up with 6 or 8 cups of cooked, frozen pumpkin, and am looking for more ways to use it. Most lately I have been googling pumpkin pie recipes, as it’s possible to make the filling alone and eat it as a dessert. The cardiac version is served with fat-free Kool-Whip.

    • Catanea Says:

      Yes, it’s the simplicity I go for. Basically leeks and ANYTHING is my fundamental soup recipe. I’ve never felt the need for chicken stock, even. And it works with potatoes (hot vichysoise – with milk or cream, of course), beets/beetroot (but DON’T put milk or cream in it as it’s too Barbiedoll pink to eat – normally it’s just a beautiful magenta – maybe a dollop of sour cream at the moment of presentation), corgette/zucchini, carrot, any slightly starchy vegetable.
      I really dislike cooking, but I like eating.
      When I still lived in America, we had a tradition of “Pumpkin Chiffon” soup; this may actually have been a CoolWhip recipe. It isn’t so dense and stodgy as traditional pumpkin pie filling. But I can’t remember the details. Ah, of course: Google.
      Sort of. Well, I see this one: http://www.howtoeatacupcake.net/2009/10/vintage-recipe-pumpkin-chiffon-pie.html – but I know it had CoolWhip in place of the whipped cream, and I believe it included Jello Vanilla Pudding (or Royal?) in place of possibly everything else. If I find it, I’ll let you know. By then you’ll likely be out of pumpkin!


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