There's a small handful of classic soup recipes that we return to over and over throughout the years. Minestrone, potato leek, and potage aux legumes spring to mind right away, along with this wonderful classic pumpkin soup recipe. With hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, and maple, and a barely perceptible touch of heat, it's absolutely perfect.
Why make our pumpkin soup?
Over the years, we've perfected this pumpkin soup recipe. The balance of flavors. The consistency and texture. We've worked hard to ensure it channels fall and delivers exactly what you'd expect from a classic pumpkin soup recipe, every time.
Pumpkin soup ingredients
You only need a few ingredients for classic pumpkin soup. Make sure they're the best quality you can find, to get the best results. You will need:
- A medium-sized sugar pumpkin (2 to 3 pounds)
- Olive oil
- An onion
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
- Ground cayenne
- Maple syrup
- Heavy cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
How to make pumpkin soup
Pumpkin soup is easy to make. It takes a little while to roast the pumpkin, but roasting makes the pumpkin easier to work with and also deepens the flavor of the soup by caramelizing the sugars in the pumpkin a bit. You'll be glad you took the extra time.
Here's what you'll do. See all the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post.
- Carefully cut the pumpkin in half.
- Scoop out the seeds and stringy inner flesh in the center of the pumpkin. You can save the seeds to roast and use as a garnish or a snack.
- Brush a little olive oil onto the cut surfaces of the pumpkin and roast it, cut sides up, until perfectly tender.
- When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and discard the skin.
- Sautee some finely diced onion in butter. Then add the pumpkin, broth, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper.
- Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
- Off the heat, puree the soup (with an immersion blender or in a regular blender, carefully, in batches).
- Stir in maple syrup, cream, and some freshly ground black pepper.
Pumpkin soup protips
Classic pumpkin soup is simple and easy and doesn't require any special skills. That said, here's how to make it the best it can be:
Choose a sugar pumpkin
Sugar pumpkins are distinct from the big, woody creatures we turn into jack-o'-lanterns, so be sure to seek one out for this recipe. This pumpkin variety is made for eating and has a sweeter, much less fibrous flesh than many other pumpkin varieties.
Roast pumpkin until perfectly tender
This step serves two purposes: it makes the flesh easier to work with, and it adds depth of flavor to the soup.
Use high-quality ingredients
With only a few ingredients, you'll want to seek out the best ones you can find. Use a high-quality stock. If you're not looking for a vegetarian soup, you can use homemade chicken stock, otherwise use your favorite purchased chicken or vegetable broth (or ours.)
Find your favorite consistency
This recipe makes a medium-consistency soup that we find perfect. You can always thin it with additional stock after blending if you like, or simmer it a little longer if you'd like a thicker soup. Just be sure to taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Over time, you can perfect the balance of pumpkin to broth to suit your own preference.
Make pumpkin soup ahead
As with many soups, pumpkin soup is great to make ahead. The flavors will even get better over time. You can keep this soup tightly covered in the fridge for several days. Gently reheat before serving, without bringing to a boil.
- 1 medium sugar pumpkin (about 3 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 6 cups low sodium vegetable stock (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the center.
- Split pumpkin in half and remove seeds with a large spoon. Brush pumpkin on cut surfaces with oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut-side up.
- Roast until completely tender and a knife or cake tester inserted near the stem meets little to no resistance, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- When cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh into a medium bowl and discard skin. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add pumpkin flesh, stock, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove pot oven from heat. Puree soup with immersion blender or carefully, in batches, in regular blender. For a smoother soup, strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Whisk in maple syrup and add cream. Season to taste with pepper, and it's ready to serve.
The broth pictured here is our favorite store-bought vegetable stock by a country mile.
If you prefer a thinner soup, add up to 8 cups stock (or feel free to adjust after blending).
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 235Total Fat: 16gCarbohydrates: 23.9gFiber: 1.7gProtein: 2.9g