For years when I thought of pumpkins, of course, I thought of Halloween and my absolute favorite pie in the whole world. But when I had Pumpkin Soup for Thanksgiving in New Orleans one year, I realized my view had been very short-sided, and maybe there was more to this magical fruit than I knew! Pumpkins are a cultivar of a squash plant and are technically a fruit. And in this soup, they lend a creamy texture and a rich depth of flavor amplified by spices and slow-cooked onions. Yes. The Onions. To me, they are what make this soup shine. A no-oil onion sauté deglazed with hearty vegetable stock. To me, this is one of the most amazing ways to build flavor. Let me show you how.
1 large onion, diced; or two medium-size shallots diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 ½ tsp ginger, minced, or ¾ tsp of ginger powder
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried coriander
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp black pepper
4 cups vegetable stock
1 14 oz can coconut cream (can use canned coconut milk in a pinch)
3 cans organic pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
Hot sauce (optional, I use a mild Green Tabasco)
Heat pan on low medium heat until warm. Add onions, stir until onions become translucent and begin to stick. Add ½ cup stock and stir to deglaze the pan. Once the water begins to evaporate add spiced and stir. Cook for 1-2 minutes and add garlic and ginger. Cook for 30 seconds and add remaining vegetable stock and stir to deglaze pan again. Add coconut cream and pumpkin puree. Stir well and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Taste for spices, and adjust according to your preference. I added a bit more salt and a little more thyme. Serve with roasted Pepitas (pumpkin seeds), and roasted spiced chickpeas. Enjoy!