Years ago, my friend Andy Avalos, meteorologist for NBC Chicago, shared his wife’s pumpkin soup recipe with me. It’s been a favorite ever since. There are simple ingredients in this soup but they come together beautifully, especially with the toasted pine nuts and croutons on top. As with all of my spicy recipes, you can certainly dial down the amount of jalapeños if you don’t like your soup overly hot.
I’ve also created a variation of the recipe for those who may enjoy a little shrimp to the dish.
Spicy Pumpkin Soup With Roasted Pine Nuts
courtesy of Anna Avalos
1/2 cu Butter
1 lg Onion, finely chopped
2 Jalapeños, seeded and finely minced
3 cu Pure Pumpkin Puree
2 cloves Garlic, minced
6 cu Chicken Stock
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
1/4 cu Heavy Cream (optional)
3 tbl All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cu Toasted Pine Nuts
Garlic Croutons, for garnish
Melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and jalapeños and sauté until soft. Add garlic and cook for about two more minutes. Add pumpkin, chicken stock, salt, and bouillon cubes. Bring soup to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and puree in a blender in batches. Be very carful as you start the blender because contents can sometimes fly out (be sure to do it in small batches). Return to a medium heat. Add cream here if you choose, making sure not to boil soup. Take out 1 cup of liquid and blend it with the flour in a small bowl, stirring until all lumps are gone. Add mixture back to soup. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until flour mixture is fully heated and incorporated. Season soup to taste. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and garlic croutons — homemade are the best. Enjoy!
A variation to this dish: Rather than using croutons, try toasting thin slices of french bread. Set those aside and then roast shrimp that has been seasoned with a little salt, pepper and chili powder. Place a shrimp or two on a crostini and float it on the soup. Top with pine nuts and serve.
This dish is also great served in a pumpkin soup bowl. Simple cut the top off of a medium sized pumpkin (reserve the top). Scoop out the seeds and rinse the inside of the pumpkin. Turn upside down to drain. Just before ready to serve, place the pumpkin in an oven that has been preheated to 250 degrees. Warm for about 10 minutes then place on a nicely folded napkin inside of a regular bowl. Ladle the soup into the bowl and place the top back on the pumpkin and serve.