Okay, so ’tis the season! And by that, I mean Pumpkin Season: Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Bread, and let’s not forget Pumpkin Pie Cookie Bars, one of my first and best posts on this little blog. But out of all of these, there’s nothing quite like a warm, thick, delicious pumpkin soup, made from an actual pumpkin.
Now if I am being perfectly honest, that is one of those little decorative pumpkins from our local farmer’s market, but he was just so dang photogenic that I had to take his picture. He’s not what you want for this scrumptious soup…for the soup you want a sugar pumpkin, which are actually not that hard to find in your garden-variety supermarket at this time of year. Pick out a nice medium-sized one.
The next trick is to get someone else to cut up that pumpkin into nice little chunks. I have a handsome Southern husband that I draft for this sort of stuff – it’s definitely the hardest part of the whole recipe. You cut the stem off as you would if you were carving it into a jack-o-lantern, and scoop out those seeds. You’ll want to save them to make toasted pumpkin seeds, which make the perfect garnish for this soup once you are ready to serve it. Once your sugar pumpkin is hollowed out, then you need to chop it into smallish chunks – two inches or so – making sure you slice or peel the outside skin off.
Once you have a nice pile of peeled and chopped sugar pumpkin, it’s all downhill from here. You give the pumpkin a quick saute with some chopped onion just to get the outside brown and then pile that pumpkin into your handy slow cooker, and pour in enough chicken broth to cover it up. Toss in a little cheesecloth bag of spices and go find something else to do for five hours or so.
Back to those pumpkin seeds – at some point while your soup is cooking away, take those pumpkin seeds and toast them up…the very best recipe I have found is the one from Elise at Simply Recipes. Don’t skimp on the salt – it will seem like a lot but I promise it’s not. Here’s the link:
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Fast forward five hours: your pumpkin is nice and soft. Now ideally you have one of those hand-held immersion blenders – if you do, just lower it right into the slow cooker and blend away until the soup is smooth and creamy. (Make sure you take out the bag of herbs first.) If you don’t, just ladle the pumpkin and broth into your handy regular blender – I KNOW you have one of those – and blend away. Stir in a little cream, ladle it into bowls and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. And some pumpkin seeds. Voila – it’s pumpkin soup time!!