Sweet & Smoky Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Sweet and Smoky Roasted Pumpkin Soup recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Pumpkins at every stall at the farmers’ market, in piles outside the grocery store, and even in wagons at the end of long, gravel driveways throughout the Minnesota countryside.  That’s where we had stopped unexpectedly last week on our drive home.  Colored flags and a little sign drew our attention to a trailer full of pumpkins, and one wooden box in the corner to slip your dollar into.  Yep, only $1 for a pumpkin.

Pumpkin wagon in Minnesota
Reese holding pumpkin

Dollar pumpkins always end up in the soup pot.  Chopped, roasted, and cooked into a simple, healthy, warming Sweet & Smoky Roasted Pumpkin Soup.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Pumpkins are well suited for soup – the cooked yellow flesh is creamy, sweet, and rich.  Very little needs to be added to create an amazing soup. 

That goes for the spices as well.  Keep it simple so as not to overpower the flavor of the pumpkin.  Black pepper, bay leaves, and smoky ancho chili powder will enhance the sweet and savory elements of the soup. 

Enjoy this Sweet & Smoky Roasted Pumpkin Soup with a side of hot-from-the-oven French bread.

Sweet & Smoky Roasted Pumpkin Soup by SeasonWithSpice.com

Sweet & Smoky Roasted Pumpkin Soup by Season with Spice 
Serves about 3

1 small pumpkin (about 6 cups of pumpkin cubes)
1 yellow onion - chopped roughly
3-4 garlic cloves - crushed
2 tbsp butter - softened
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 bay leaves
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of ancho chili powder
Salt to taste
Toasted pecans (optional) - crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Slice pumpkin in half and remove seeds and pulp. Then peel pumpkin (I find it easiest to cut pumpkin into 1-inch wide slices first, then peel skin with a sharp knife), and chop into cubes.
3. In a bowl, add in the pumpkin cubes, onion, and garlic, along with the butter, olive oil, and maple syrup.  Stir until pumpkin cubes are coated evenly.
4. Place the pumpkin mixture flat on a baking pan – use a plastic spatula to ensure all the liquid is transferred from the bowl to the pan. Tear the bay leaves into 4 pieces each and place between pumpkin cubes. Put baking pan into oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until pumpkin cubes are softened. Let cool slightly.
5. Add chicken broth to blender. Then add in the cooked pumpkin – again using a plastic spatula to ensure all the liquid is transferred. Blend to desired consistency, and transfer to a pot on the stove.
6. Heat soup to a simmer, and stir in ancho chili powder, black pepper, and salt (and crushed pecans, if using). Taste and adjust any seasoning if needed. When thickened to desired texture, serve hot with a side of French bread.

 -The majority of pumpkin soup recipes include milk or heavy cream, but I find the milky taste can overpower the flavor of the pumpkin, and isn’t really needed anyway since the blended pumpkin already provides a nice creamy texture. If you do want a slightly richer taste, I recommend stirring in 1 or 2 more tablespoons of butter during the simmering process.
-To speed the process up, you can skip the roasting step, and instead cook the pumpkin on the stove.

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