Cooks go a bit pumpkin crazy this time of year, but for good reason. Pumpkin is such a diverse fruit because it can be served sweet or savory. Not to mention it's delicious, healthy, and should be the official flavor of Autumn. So if you haven't jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon yet, I urge you to join us!
To kick off Nectar at the Roadside's first pumpkin recipe, I am making my Sweet Heat Pumpkin Soup. I love plain pumpkin soup, I do. There is something very special about its simplicity, it usually being seasoned with only salt and pepper. But, if you're a spice/flavor addict like me, then you will probably prefer my amped up version.
Like most soups, we start with onions. I am a firm believer that when making soup, one should sweat their onions! So coarsely chop your onions (they will be pureed later anyway) and throw them in a large dutch oven or saucepan with butter. Cook them over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or longer, if you are patient. We are going for slow here, people. Let the onions and butter become comfortable with each other, because honestly, can you think of a better combination than butter and onions?
Once the onions are translucent and very soft, make a well and toss the garlic in. Cook until fragrant (15-30 seconds) and then toss together with the onions. I change my mind. Butter, onions, and garlic is the best combination.
Next, toss in your pumpkin cubes. If you are using canned pumpkin, hold off. Cook for about five minutes.
Add the broth, cubed bread, and apple. If using canned pumpkin, add now.
Cook on high heat until boiling and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
If you have an emersion blender (cough, Rebecca, cough), I envy you. If you are old school like me, a regular blender will have to suffice. In shifts, blend the soup until pureed and add back to your saucepan.
Time for the fun part. Doctor up the soup by adding the pepper, salt, curry powder, red pepper flakes and cinnamon.
Give your soup a taste because it may need more salt or red pepper flakes depending on your preference. I believe in erring on the side of caution, so if you think it needs more, add it now.
Stir in the half and half and watch the color and consistency transform.
Pour in your maple syrup. Stir.
Velvety, spicy, and sweet! Enjoy.
About 6-8 servings
2 pie pumpkins, peeled and cubed OR
2, 29 oz cans pureed pumpkin (I used 1 pie pumpkin and 1 can)
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped
1 slice of sourdough bread, cubed
2 Tbsp butter ( Use oil to make vegan)
5 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup half and half or light cream (Use milk alternative to make vegan)