As I wake up to the first day of fall, there it is, lingering in the dark corner of my bedroom, the faint smell of pumpkin spice. Just like a magic switch, the first raindrops of the fall have washed away all the things summery. Instead of ice coffee and tea, we will be sipping pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin spice tea. The Flower Power IPA -- so yesterday -- instead, the Pumpkin Spice Ale is our beer of the moment. Goodbye lime pie, hello pumpkin pie. And as for the soup... Wait, it does not seem that there is anything like pumpkin spice soup. At least according to Google. And Google is to be trusted. Just in case, I doublecheck on food52, Food & Wine, Bon Apetit, Saveur... Nada! There is the spicy pumpkin soup, and spiced pumpkin soup, and pumpkin soup with spices, but believe it or not, despite all things pumpkin spice around us, the mankind has yet to come up with the pumpkin spice soup.
And so here it is, my small contribution to the mankind...
Pumpkin Spice Soup
* 1 small Sugar Pie pumpkin, about 3 - 3 1/2 lb
* 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
* 1 large garlic clove, minced
* 6-7 cups chicken broth (plus an extra cup or so if needed for thinning)
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 1/2 tsp ground cumin
* 1/2 tsp ground coriander
* 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
* 1/4 tsp ground allspice
* A pinch of ground cloves
* A pinch of ground cardamom
* 2 tbsp sunflower oil
* Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Halve the pumpkin, remove the seeds and cut it into about 8-10 slices. Reserve the seeds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the pumpkin slices on the baking sheet and bake in the oven until soft and gently caramelized. Let the pumpkin cool slightly, and then remove the skin and cut the flesh into inch-size pieces.
3. In a large pot heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion and sauté until soft, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the spices, and cook for another minute or two, until fragrant. Add the broth and pumpkin cubes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
4. Remove the pot from the heat. Let the soup cool slightly and then puree it in a food processor.
5. Return the soup to the pot, bring it to a gentle simmer, and add the heavy cream. (If the soup is too thick, you can add an extra coup of broth to thin it down.) Mix well, let the soup simmer for another minute or two, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
* 1 cup pumpkin seeds
* 1 tsp sunflower oil
* 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
* 1/4 tsp Chinese five spice
* 1 tsp salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. Clean the reserved pumpkin seeds thoroughly with water and pat dry.
3. In a bowl, mix the pumpkin seeds with the oil, spices and salt.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the seeds in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake stirring occasionally until crispy, for about 18 to 20 minutes.