Spiced Pumpkin Soup

This soup is made with pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spices, but it definitely does not taste like pumpkin pie. There’s plenty of pumpkin pie ahead with the holidays coming, so I didn’t want it here in this soup.

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Spiced Pumpkin Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
pinch of salt
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup water (if necessary)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons minced parsley, plus a bit for garnish
toasted sliced almonds, pepitas, or pine nuts for garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion in the oil, with a pinch of salt, until tender, but not browned.

2. Add the broth, pumpkin purée, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and sugar to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Purée the soup (in a blender, or an immersible blender works fine) until it’s smooth, put it back over low heat, and stir in the half-and-half, and the water if you want the soup thinner (YMMV; depends on how much moisture is in your pumpkin). Heat briefly to warm through.

4. Stir in the nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and taste. Add salt and/or pepper if you think it needs it. Stir in the parsley. Toast your nuts for garnish, if using, and serve.

You can use pre-ground nutmeg, but I have found freshly grated has a stronger floral, pungent taste that I like better. I strongly suggest you give it a try.

I used sliced almonds because I already had some toasted. But I think toasted pepitas or pine nuts would work equally well here. The spices deliver a subtle warmth and tingle on your tongue, and the toasted nuts add balance and texture. I had a small bowl to check the flavors, and I can’t wait to have a larger bowl, with a sandwich for dinner later. I suspect the spices will have mellowed, and the soup will be even more comforting than it was right after I made it. I could use some comfort as we head into the busy holiday season ahead, and this soup hits the spot.

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