Thursday, October 17

Pumpkin Soup

Every year the rest of the country begins celebrating fall with changing leaves, cooler weather, and big hearty meals, but L.A. doesn't start experiencing cold temperatures until well after Thanksgiving. This year I was determined not to miss out on the festivities and have started testing out new autumnal dishes despite the 80 degree heat. This pumpkin soup is an adaptation from a recipe in my new favorite cookbook, William Sonoma's Vegetable of the Day. It calls for canned pumpkin, making it a super cheap and fast meal that's definitely weeknight friendly. I was determined not to let the soup get too sweet or reminiscent of pumpkin pie, so it's blended with savory vegetables and herbs and has a mild kick from cayenne pepper. It's perfect for a light meal (I've been eating it for lunch most of the week) and is already a contender for inclusion at this year's Thanksgiving meal.

Pumpkin Soup:
  • Melt 3 tbsp. butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add in 1 diced onion, 2 diced celery stalks, and 1 tbsp. minced rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook vegetables for 8-10 minutes, or until soft but not brown.
  • Stir in 3 minced garlic cloves and cook for another minute.
  • Add in 1/2 c. white wine and let reduce for a few minutes, or until half has evaporated.
  • Mix in two 15 oz. cans of pumpkin puree* and 3 c. of chicken broth and stir until smooth.
  • Bring soup to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in 4 tbsp. real maple syrup, 1 pinch of cayenne pepper, and another big pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Blend soup in a blender or food processor until smooth, then transfer back to the pot.
  • Stir in 1/2 c. heavy cream and check for seasoning.
  • To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds or croutons.

Serves four (main course)
Serves eight (appetizer)
*Preferably organic. Make sure this is plain canned pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie filling.