Southern food and lifestyle writer Christiana Roussel joins us today to share one of her favorite fall soup recipes: creamy pumpkin soup. Here’s why it should be on your fall menu, too!
Somewhere between now and Christmas, you’re going to find yourself inundated with winter squash. A quick trip to the Finley Avenue Farmers Market or the Pepper Place Saturday Market will yield more varieties of winter squash than you can fathom: Blue Hubbard, Jarrahdale, Kabocha, Delicata … Beyond decorating, these squash are delicious, and they are easy to use in almost any autumn dish. I am partial to skinning, seeding and roasting them, adding bits to a kale salad or puréeing with fresh ginger to accompany a roasted rosemary pork loin. But the easiest way to use them, by far, is just making a soup.
For this creamy pumpkin soup recipe, I use a mixture of sugar pumpkin and butternut squash, but you can use almost any type you have on hand. Roasting concentrates the flavor and fills the house with such a happy smell. Fill a warmed crockpot with it while you toast some croutons (I like using Crestline Bagel Challah), and you have the perfect filler for chilly trick-or-treaters. But while you’re at it, why not double the recipe and freeze some for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners? The warm orange color is such a festive way to start those family meals.
- 1 3-pound sugar pumpkin or 3 pounds butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 leeks (white and light green parts only), cleaned and chopped
- 4 to 6 cups chicken broth
- Garnish: sour cream, pomegranate seeds*, fresh thyme leaves, toasted pumpkin seeds or croutons and paprika (preferably smoked), for serving
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the pumpkin with 2 Tablespoons of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast, tossing once, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the roasted pumpkin, 4 cups of the broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool before proceeding.
- In a blender, working in batches, puree the soup until smooth, adjusting the consistency with the remaining broth as necessary. (Alternatively, use a handheld immersion blender in the saucepan.)
- Garnish with pomegranate seeds*, fresh thyme leaves, toasted pumpkin seeds or croutons.
- Pomegranate seeds, also called ‘arils’, can be found in the produce section of some supermarkets. Seeding a whole pomegranate can be messy business unless you do the following:
- Fill a large bowl with cold water.
- With the whole pomegranate submerged, slice the fruit in half with a knife. Use your fingers to gently release the arils from the spongy inside of the fruit.
- Doing so will keep from staining your fingers and countertops, while the arils sink and the flesh floats; use a colander to separate. Voila!
Thanks, Christiana! This looks amazing!
All images courtesy of Christiana Roussel.