Our shih tzu gets a special treat a couple of times a month, in order to add some variation to her typical diet of dried dog food.
What does she get? Boiled chicken and rice!
Needless to say, I end up with what seems like gallons of chicken stock that reside in the freezer, and I’m always on the lookout for new recipes, or inventing new ones to use it up.
I’ve had an abundance of an early variety of kabocha squash from the garden that I’m putting to use – beautiful timing, right?
Kabocha is a green Asian pumpkin, and it’s similar in texture to a butternut squash. Some varieties can get very large.
I recently concocted this pumpkin soup recipe to use up both my kabocha and my chicken stock horde, based off my memory of the soups I’ve tried in several French bistro-style restaurants.
It’s a nice direction to take if you’re a bit tired of the traditional pumpkin pie route.
Well, at least for a while… if green mold starts to develop, definitely toss it!
The entire family loved this creamy recipe. It became an instant success and a huge favorite for both the grownups and the kids.
It works better as side dish rather than the main meal for most families, but if you aren’t the typical American who must have meat with each meal (unlike all the hungry men and boys in my family!) this could be the primary course. For a vegetarian version, swap out the chicken stock for vegetable. You might also like to try experimenting with cashew cream to replace the dairy for a vegan option.Print
Make this creamy and comforting pumpkin soup you can adapt with your favorite flavorings and different types of winter squash.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 4 cups pumpkin puree (2 15-ounce cans)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion in the olive oil until lightly browned. Add the garlic, and saute for 1 minute more.
- Add the stock, pumpkin puree, and herbs. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Puree the soup using an immersion blender, countertop blender, or food processor.
- Strain the soup through a chinois or fine mesh strainer into a clean large saucepan, then return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer uncovered for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until thickened.
- Slowly add the cream and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and mix in the salt and pepper, adding more to taste.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with pumpkin seeds and herbs, and serve warm.
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Dinner
Keywords: pumpkin, pumpkin puree, soup, pumpkin soup
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Saute the Onions
Don’t be afraid to allow the onion to brown in some spots – the caramelization adds a delicious depth of flavor that you’ll love the taste of.
Step 2 – Add the Other Ingredients
Add the vegetable or chicken stock, pumpkin puree, and herbs. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes until slightly thickened.
You can certainly use an equal amount of freshly pureed pumpkin for this recipe, or your favorite pureed winter squash.
Acorn and butternut squashes (and probably some other heirloom squash varieties as well) make for excellent substitutes for the pumpkin. Look into other winter squash, and how to prep and cook them.
Step 3 – Puree
Once the soup has cooked for 30 minutes, puree it.
While blending the pumpkin, make use of a portable blender (i.e. an immersion blender). Simply place it straight into the cooking pot, rather than shifting all of the ingredients back and forth to your food processor or stationary blender.
Step 4 – Strain
Strain the soup through a mesh strainer into a clean saucepan of the same large size, pushing the soup down with a spoon. All of the soup will probably not fit in the strainer or chinois at once, so work in small batches for this step.
Discard any solids that remain in the strainer.
Return to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for an additional 30 minutes.
Step 5 – Add the Cream and Seasonings
Slowly add the cream and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
You can reduce, or even eliminate, the heavy whipping cream in this recipe if you like. For lower calorie fare, you can completely skip it, add just a small amount, or switch to a light cream or half and half. For a different taste, you can also substitute sour cream, crème fraiche, or even coconut milk for a non-dairy option.
Remove the soup from the heat, and add the salt and pepper to taste. I actually prefer to crush salt and whole black peppercorns – get the best mills out there!
Step 6 – Serve
Ladle the soup into four bowls, garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and herbs, and serve warm with fresh, crusty bread on the side. Enjoy!
An Adaptable Recipe with Many Possibilities
Don’t be afraid to play with the spices – this recipe is my base version, the start of a range of flavor profiles. This is one of those pumpkin recipes that can be given a different flair with whatever kind of taste you’re going for.
For a more Indian or Thai flavor, try adding some red curry along with a little red pepper, and perhaps a dash of ginger, either powdered or freshly minced.
For another spin on an Asian-style taste, add just a little sweetener, 1/3 cup of granulated sugar or 5 tablespoons of honey, a touch of ginger, and some dried jujubes (the fruit – not the candy), and make it thicker with a little rice flour.
Whatever you decide, however you season it, let me know what you do! Leave me a message in the comments below, and rate my recipe as well after you try it.
For more delicious pureed veggie soups, try these:
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on July 12, 2014. Last updated: February 19, 2019 at 12:55 pm. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Lynne Jaques
Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!