4 October, 2017
The grocery store had a sale on pumpkin puree, so I took home three cans of the stuff and went to town. The banana pumpkin bread and pumpkin spice cookies I made recently were part of that attempt to use up the three cans of puree. There was also a failed attempt at making protein bites. Stay tuned, I might get adventurous and try again soon. Anyway, baked goods are pretty easy to toy around with when it comes to pumpkin, but I’ve always been a little afraid to try making a savory pumpkin something, let alone a sweet and savory something. The soup itself is mostly sweet, but you can throw in some bacon or ham, as the smoky flavor compliments the sweet soup pretty well.
Well, *I* was a fan of the pairing. The boyfriend (who shall henceforth be known as “the fiancé,” by the way, until further notice!) wasn’t as fond of it, not because they didn’t pair well, but because I told him I was putting Taylor Ham in the soup, so he expected the pumpkin soup to taste like a salted smoked ham… Sorry, honey, that’s not how it works. 😛
Still, if meat isn’t your preference, you can always top it off with some wilted spinach or kale, just sautée it in some olive oil, salt and pepper, and garlic, and pile it on top of the soup. Finally, if you’re not feeling fancy at all, the soup is just as good served by itself. It’s a great way to use some pumpkin to get into the swing of the harvest without going crazy with the pumpkin spice. A little variety never hurt anyone.
20 oz Pumpkin puree
1 Sweet yellow onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
3 cups Chicken stock (or vegetable)
1 cup Milk or cream (or a substitute)
2 tbsp Maple syrup
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Dice up the onion and toss it in a nonstick pan over medium heat and sautée until the onion is tender. Meanwhile, combine the puree, garlic, chicken stock, milk, and maple syrup in a medium saucepan and place it over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil. If it’s heating faster than the onions are softening, turn down the heat on the saucepan.
Once the onions are tender, stir them into the soup and finish bringing it to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low, add in the nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and let the soup simmer for five minutes, uncovered, still stirring occasionally. The next step you can choose to skip if you’d like:
If you have an emulsion blender (one of these things), go ahead and blend the soup until it’s smooth. If you don’t have an emulsion blender but still want smooth soup (instead of one with little bits of onion floating in it), let the soup cool first before pouring it into a regular blender and placing a towel over the lid. Cooling the soup first and using a towel are super mega ultra important unless you enjoy wearing scalding hot soup. Please, be careful if you’re using a standard blender for this. I mean, always be careful, but I don’t want anyone getting burns or painting their kitchen a nice new shade of pumpkin because they got impatient or didn’t follow directions.
Once you’re satisfied with the texture of your soup, garnish it as you please and serve nice and warm. This soup is best enjoyed on a chilly day while wrapped in your favorite blanket.
If you only have one of those 15 ounce cans of pumpkin puree, to save you the trouble, here’s the math for a 3/4 recipe:
15 oz pumpkin puree
1.5 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup milk
1.5 tbsp maple syrup
1 generous pinch each of salt and nutmeg
1 heaping 1/4 tsp each of pepper and cinnamon
I definitely don’t know this because I didn’t have enough puree for my own recipe…
Also, for those of you who might be wondering about the Vitamin A content of this recipe, don’t worry. Plant-based carotenoids (in this case, beta carotene, which is what makes pumpkins and carrots and friends orange) are safe to consume in high amounts. So, no, you don’t have to worry about ODing on Vitamin A from pumpkin soup. I add this as a footnote only because I wondered about that. Plant-based carotenoids are water-soluble, which means they’ll be flushed out of your system like too much Vitamin C would be. It’s pre-formed (supplement form) and animal-based carotenoids you need to be cautious of. So, just don’t go eating any polar bear livers and you’ll be fine. 😉 Thanks for joining today’s Science Corner!