Pumpkin Soup

You might recall last Tuesday’s blog post where I was mourning the end of cherry season and soothing my sadness by way of apple consumption.  While apple therapy continues to be helpful, I’ve added tons of pumpkin to my fall cooking regimen as well.  I cook with canned pumpkin all the time when autumn rolls around – not just for the usual breads, pies and muffins, but also for this soup, which I consider to be a DamFam Greatest Hit.

Over the years I’ve morphed the original recipe into what I’m sharing with you below. This recipe is excellent as a light lunch, and lovely for a dinner party first course.  With the crunchy sage croutons, I would also qualify it as perfectly kid friendly.  I hope you like it too.

SERVES: 4 as a first course
SOURCE:  adapted from epicurious.com

1 T. butter
½ medium onion, finely diced (Mayan Sweet Onions are on sale)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. ground cumin
½ t. chili powder
½ t. ground coriander
pinch nutmeg
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. flour
3 c. chicken stock
1 c. whipping cream (or half & half)
1 – 15 oz. can pure pumpkin (Libby’s Pumpkin is on sale)
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

1 T.+ olive oil
½ T.+ butter
½ loaf good quality bread (Sendik’s Country White or Sendik’s Ciabatta Rolls are on sale), cut into crouton sized cubes
2 large pinches of slivered fresh sage; plus additional leaves for garnish if desired
kosher salt

Melt one tablespoon butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium high heat.  Add onion and garlic and sauté until softened.  Add cumin, chili powder, coriander, brown sugar, and nutmeg and sauté for a minute or two or until fragrant.  Add flour; cook and stir for one minute.  Whisk in chicken broth and cream and bring mixture to a boil.  Add pumpkin and stir to combine; reduce heat to medium and simmer until soup thickens slightly and flavors blend, about 15 minutes.   Season to taste with kosher salt and white pepper.

For croutons:  melt together the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add bread cubes and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with fresh sage and toss again.  Add additional olive oil and butter to the pan if bread seems to be dry.  Toast bread cubes until golden brown and crunchy, about 10 minutes.  Season croutons with kosher salt.

Ladle hot soup into serving bowls and top with sage croutons.  Garnish with fresh sage leaves if desired and serve.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | October 23rd, 2013