November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! with Pumpkin Soup

What vegetable is more associated with the fall harvest and the Thanksgiving holiday than the pumpkin? They were probably a New World crop, and may have been served at the first Thanksgiving. Now we generally use them for a delicious pie; they're also good stuffed and baked. One of my favorite recipes with pumpkin is a soup, light and gently flavored, from The New York Times International Cookbook by Craig Claiborne. Eating it is a perfect way to celebrate the season; I send you, along with this recipe, my best wishes for a wonderful holiday with friends and family.

7 Tbs butter
6 green onions, chopped (I don't have these around, so leave them out)
1 onion, sliced
2 1/2 lbs diced pumpkin, or 3 cups puree. (I always use fresh pumpkin for texture and flavor. I roast it, halved, seeds removed, cut sides oiled and placed down on a cookie sheet; bake at 400 till tender and scoop out the flesh)
6 cups chicken stock (I use water, but it will be much more flavorful with stock.)
1/2 teas salt
3 Tbs all purpose flour
1 cup light cream

  1. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan; sauté the green onions and onion until golden.
  2. Add pumpkin, stock, and salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer until tender, or for 10 minutes if using the puree. Strain the soup, or blend in a food processor, or do what I do, which is simply mash the contents of the saucepan with a potato masher; I like some texture in the soup.
  3. Knead the flour with 2 tablespoons of butter and gradually add to the soup, whisking it to blend smoothly until it thickens. Add the light cream and remaining tablespoon of butter (I leave out this last bit of butter because I think it's rich enough.)
  4. Serve garnished with croutons.


  1. No pumpkin soup here but I will eat my share of pumpking pie this holiday. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

  2. I am making stuffed pumpkin. First roast pumpkin (like you are), then scoop out inside, mix with apples, walnuts, spices put back in pumpkin and heat and serve. Perfect for my husband who can't have pies etc. I love it, especially seeing the little pumpkin on the table. Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. Lisa, I've got some pumpkin pie too...yum.
    Susan, I make the stuffed pumpkin without roasting it first, and stuff it with rice and apples and raisins; it's a recipe from Claudia Roden. Yours sounds delicious too.

  4. Can't have enough pumpkin! I made pumpkin flan since no wheat. I bet you could substitute spicy roasted pumpkin seeds for croutons and texture would be good in that soup I've made for a while. (you could add a veggie stock for flavor...) Also, Claudia Roden and Craig Claiborn cookbooks were among the cooking Bibles of my youth so brought back fond memories! But these days we eat differently: less corn, soy and wheat and more fat, thus heavy cream and butter.

  5. As Julie said--never enough pumpkin...I'm roasting a fine organic one now that I'll cube and toss with olive oil, hawaiian salt and fresh ground pepper and roast again on a cookie sheet. (An old Sunset recipe altered.) The pumpkin comes out a bit crispy on the outside and with the simple flavors seeping all the way through.

  6. Julie, thanks for the pumpkin seed garnish suggestion. If I ever get ambitious enough to clean and roast the seeds, I'll definitely try it. I've also made a middle eastern dessert with pumpkin and almonds which is very good.
    Hannah, that sounds delicious. My problem is that I hate peeling and cubing squashes; so much work! so lately have opted for roasting the halves.

  7. Love those long handles on the pumpkins and that view behind the soup!