TOP PHOTO: Pumpkin soup in a pumpkin
terrine. Photo courtesy Cristina Ferrare.
BOTTOM PHOTO: Pumpkin soup in a real
pumpkin. Photo by G.M. Vozd | IST.
When was the last time you had pumpkin soup? It seems to have been supplanted by its cousins, acorn squash soup and butternut squash soup.
The multi-purpose fruit was introduced by the Native Americans to American colonists, who turned it into soups, sides, desserts and beer.
You can make pumpkin soup a Halloween tradition. Serve it from a scooped-out pumpkin, invest in a pumpkin tureen, or simply serve it from the pot.
Pumpkin soup is adaptable to different flavors, from anise to chile, curry, and just about any spice on the shelf.
Gordon Ramsay tops his with wild mushrooms and shaved Parmesan.
A pumpkin-beef soup celebrated the Independence of Haiti in 1803.
In Southeast Asia, chunks of pumpkin are served in a clear broth with ground pork, scallions and cilantro.
Here are three pumpkin soup recipes we’ve published previously, along with instructions to turn a pumpkin into a tureen.
The recipe below is from Cristina Ferrare, host of Hallmark Channel’s The Home and Family Show. She flavors the soup with pumpkin pie spices and suggests multiple garnishes so each diner can customize his or her soup. And she uses cream cheese instead of cream, for an even richer soup.
Whether for sophisticated palates or to warm up the kids prior to trick-or-treating, make pumpkin soup part of your Halloween tradition.
Trivia: The word pumpkin comes from the Greek pepõn, large melon. The word soup derives from Late Latin suppa, “bread soaked in broth,” from Proto-Germanic sup, “to take liquid.” For many people, yesterdy’s bread soaked in broth was the main meal of the day and also the derivation of “supper.”
*All squash are native to the Andes and Mesoamerica. They are members of the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae, and the genus Cucurbita. Pumpkin, acorn and summer squash belong to Curbita pepo; butternut squash is Curbita moschata; hubbard squash and buttercup squash belong to Curbita maxima. Curbita is Latin for “gourd.” Who said taxonomy is dull?
RECIPE: PUMPKIN SOUP WITH CUSTOM GARNISHES
1/3 cup olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 can (29 ounces) pure pumpkin
1 quart homemade chicken stock or store-bought chicken broth
1 package (8 ounces) regular or low-fat cream cheese, cut into small pieces, divided
Use as many of these as you like:
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 small jalapeño, sliced thin (remove seeds and pith for less heat)
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
Olive, pumpkin or walnut oil for drizzling
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (recipe below)
1. HEAT a saucepan or stockpot over medium-high heat until hot. Add the olive oil, then quickly add the onions and scallions. Stir.
2. TURN the heat down to medium. Sauté until the onions start to caramelize, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the sherry. Add the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, cayenne and pumpkin, and mix well.
3. ADD the chicken stock and stir until all of the ingredients are well blended.
4. LOWER the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the soup starts to thicken slightly. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock or water, a half cup at a time. Turn off the heat.
5. FILL a blender halfway with the soup and half of the cream cheese, and blend unit smooth. Pour into the soup pot. Continue the process with the rest of the soup and cream cheese until everything has been blended.
6. PLACE the soup pot back on the stove and heat through. Serve piping hot, garnished with a dollop of sour cream, finely chopped scallions, chopped jalapeño and pomegranate seeds; a drizzle of olive, pumpkin or walnut oil; and the pumpkin seeds (recipe below).
RECIPE: ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS
This recipe is adapted from one from Elise on SimplyRecipes.com. You can see the step-by-step process with photos.
With Elise’s technique, first boiling the seeds in salted water allows salt to permeate the seeds, not just coat the outside. If they’re properly toasted and are from small to medium size pumpkins, she notes, they can be eaten shells and all.
Raw pumpkin seeds
Carve the pumpkin, roast the seeds. Top photo courtesy Starling Farms. Bottom hoto courtesy Elise | Simply Recipes.
1. USE a strong metal spoon to scrape the seeds and strings from the inside of the pumpkin. Place in a colander and run under water to rinse and separate the seeds.
2. MEASURE the pumpkin seeds in a cup measure. Place the seeds in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to the pan for every half cup of pumpkin seeds. Add more salt if you would like your seeds to be saltier.
3. BRING the salted water and pumpkin seeds to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain.
4. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Toss the seeds in oil and spread out in a single layer in a baking pan or rimmed baking sheet.
5. BAKE on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown, 5-20 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds (small pumpkin seeds may toast in 5 minutes, large pumpkin seeds may take up to 20 minutes). Keep an eye on the pumpkin seeds so they don’t get over-toasted. When lightly browned…
6. REMOVE the pan from the oven and let cool on a rack until ready to serve. Test to see if you enjoy the seeds whole. If not, crack to remove the inner seeds.