Creamy Pumpkin Soup
This recipe turns canned pumpkin purée into a sublimely creamy, aromatic soup that makes for an elegant first course or a satisfying lunch on a cold day. While the combination of pumpkin and fall spices can easily veer in the direction of dessert, the addition of fresh rosemary, garlic, caramelized onions and curry powder plants this soup firmly in the savory camp. Finally, to make this recipe vegan, substitute olive oil for the butter, full-fat coconut milk for the heavy cream, and vegetable broth for the chicken broth. If time and availability allow, consider roasting your own sugar pumpkin for this recipe: The soup will have a deeper, more complex flavor (see Tip).
- Serves: 6 persons
- 3tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 2tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary)
- 2tablespoons maple syrup
- 4garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- ½cup fresh apple cider (or 3/4 cup apple juice)
- 4cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
- 2(15-ounce) cans pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling), or 3 cups homemade pumpkin purée (see Tip)
- 1teaspoon mild curry powder
- ½teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus more for serving
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1 ½teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- ½teaspoon black pepper, plus more as needed
- ⅓cup heavy cream, plus more for serving
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter
- 12fresh sage leaves
Step 1In a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes. If the onions begin browning too quickly, turn the heat to low.
Step 2Add the maple syrup and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have darkened in color, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the cider and cook, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced by about half.
Step 3Add the broth, pumpkin purée, curry powder, nutmeg, cloves, salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook at a full simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching.
Step 4Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender or food processor and return to the pot (or use an immersion blender). Bring back to a simmer over medium heat, then turn off the heat and stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add more broth if the soup is too thick.
Step 5To make the optional fried sage topping, melt the butter in a small or medium skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the sage leaves and fry until just crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or a fork, transfer the sage leaves to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the butter left behind in the pan.
Step 6To serve, spoon the soup into individual bowls. Top each serving with 2 fried sage leaves and a drizzle of the reserved butter (if using), or a swirl of cream and pinch of nutmeg. Serve hot.