I couldn’t be happier that fall squash is in season. I miss the tomatoes and the pole beans, but now that there’s a smell of autumn in the air it’s satisfying to switch to ripe sugar pumpkins for baking and cooking. Today I bring you a divine soup, creamy and slightly sweet, redolent of spices.
I was tempted to create the pumpkin soup I usually make. The recipe for that amazing soup appeared here last year, and it’s a winner. But what’s the fun in that? I rolled up my sleeves and went to work to find something different.
This is so good I was practically licking my bowl. Served with some broiled garlic, parmesan bread and a fresh green salad it makes a perfect fall meal. Don’t be put off with the little bit of maple syrup in the recipe, it complements the savory elements perfectly.
I encourage you to check out last year’s version of my cream of pumpkin soup and directions on how to roast sugar pumpkins.
Note: regarding the source of this recipe, I found several versions close to this on numerous blogs. After tracing threads I think it may have originated from Cook’s Illustrated.
Cream of pumpkin soup, garnished with toasted nuts and blue cheese crumbles
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 cups chicken broth, plus extra for thinning
- 1 (15 ounce can) pure pumpkin puree, or 15 ounces fresh pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pepper, to taste
- Toasted pumpkin seeds and walnuts, plus blue cheese crumbles for garnish (optional)
Melt the butter in a medium dutch oven pan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, and nutmeg. Continue to sauté and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the broth, making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the soup to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin and syrup and cook an additional 10 minutes.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor or blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the soup to the dutch oven.
Stir in the half and half and and additional broth (if necessary) to adjust the soup’s consistency. Taste and add more salt if you think it needs it. Heat gently over low heat until hot. Garnish individual bowls with toasted nuts and blue cheese.
To toast the nuts, sauté them in a small pan or toast in the toaster oven for 3-5 minutes, or until fragrant.