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.
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.