Here is my 4-ingredient take on this old classic. I made it a notch more appealing — the soup has creamy and foamy texture, it’s like eating a dream!
This warming dish is perfect for chilly days of fall. As appetizer soup it starts the finest dinner or just a cozy get-together. This soup is also a great way to use roasted pumpkin, if you happen to have that at hand.
Tips for making the soup
I strongly recommend to use home-roasted pumpkin. If you really cannot get roasted pumpkin, it is okay to use canned pumpkin. You can use 1 (15-ounce can = 425 g) can for the soup. But like I said, roasted pumpkin gives the best flavor and the best texture.
You can use self-made or commercial chicken or vegetable broth. If you use commercial broth, try to find as good-quality and natural broth as you can, without monosodium glutamate or other unnecessary stuff.
I tried this soup also using veal broth and beef broth as base, but those turned out to be too strong-flavored for this soup. They cover the fine and elegant taste of pumpkin. In my opinion chicken and vegetable broth work best.
Please feel free to add salt if you think the soup lacks some. The saltiness naturally depends on the saltiness of the broth. I use broth which is quite low in sodium, so I tend to add almost 1 teaspoon salt in the end, before blending the soup.
Basically this is very easy soup to make. So, let’s get started.
Combine all ingredients except cream in a large saucepan. I prefer large saucepan because then the soup has room to boil and I don’t have to be worried that the soup boils over. If you want to add dried spices or herbs, now is the right time.
Start heating over high heat. Mix all the time.
When the soup starts bubbling, turn the heat to medium-low.
Cover and let simmer for a half an hour. Mix a few times. The soup should only simmer gently, if it bubbles vigorously, reduce the heat to minimum.
When the soup is simmering, whip the cream until soft peaks form. I prefer a whisk rather than electric mixer because whisking by hand guarantees even result and I can better regulate the fluffiness of the whipped cream.
After that half an hour simmering turn off the heat and blend the soup until smooth. Even if I use canned pumpkin I like to blend the soup for the smoothest consistency. You can add grated fresh ginger root or other fresh herbs and spices before blending.
Pour in the whipped cream.
Whisk gently until well mixed and serve immediately.
My experiments with this recipe
After a warming drink, I wanted to create something warming and savory from the roasted pumpkin I have. Something light and not baked. A soup would most probably fulfill my cravings.
As I never have prepared soup from pumpkin, I checked my numerous cookbooks and googled some pumpkin soup recipes to get some ideas.
I found some lovely recipes from the net. For example this one looked nice and easy, and this one appeared perfect to be adapted to my own needs. Also Elana Amsterdam had a delicious-looking soup from butternut squash.
After a small pondering I decided to make my soup creamy. Organic heavy cream would be the perfect element to reach the preferred creaminess. For some reason all the recipes I saw had the cream added in the very end. I wonder what was the reason for that.
In my first experiment I combined 2 cups (480 ml) roasted pumpkin, 2 cups (480 ml) veal broth and 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream. I mixed the ingredients well and brought the mixture to a boil.
Time to taste. My goodness the soup was tasteless! I was very disappointed. I looked through the recipes which I had found and was wondering how on earth I could get some taste to my soup. At least I should add some salt.
I thought cooking the soup for a longer time might improve the taste. The ingredients were not raw, but I could check how longer cooking time affects to the taste and to the consistency. Now the soup was really thin. I could also add the cream in the very end — just like in the recipes I had seen before.
I cooked the soup for an hour and tasted it every now and then. After some cooking the soup tasted better, but it was still too tasteless and a bit too much on the thin side.
I also wanted to try out some spices and how they would go with the pumpkin soup. I checked my pantry and collected a bunch of interesting spices I thought I want to try. Here is the list and my personal preferences how the spices and seasonings go with the pumpkin soup (* = inedible; ***** = incredible):
- Unrefined sea salt ***** (as a salt lover this is a must for me)
- Curry powder **** (great companion to pumpkin)
- Ginger ** (taste was burning but not in a nice way)
- Onion powder **** (gave a great flavor)
- Cajun seasoning **** (a nice, spicy kick and great taste)
- Cumin *** (so-so, a little goes a long way)
- Barbecue seasoning ***½ (quite spicy, but a nice combination of the flavors of summer and fall; a small amount is enough)
- Pumpkin pie spice * (no thanks this one for me, I love the pumpkin pie spice in dessert but in soup it tasted terrible)
- Grated, fresh ginger root **** (the fresh ginger tasted so much better than ginger powder; gave great taste and some warmth)
- Thyme * (too herby taste, simply didn’t suit at all)
- Poultry seasoning * (no way! This flavor combination was simply torturing my taste buds)
- Ground cardamom * (great for dessert, not for pumpkin soup)
- Apple juice **½ (gave a nice tang, but I think I used too much apple juice, a very small amount might suit better)
- Garam masala *½ (I just didn’t like it, too exotic for a cozy pumpkin soup)
- Turmeric ** (really bland, I could only use it because of the nice color)
- Oregano * (again too herby taste; in general oregano is one of my favorite herbs, but here I didn’t like it)
- Lemon pepper **½ (piquant taste, not too bad; a very small amount is enough)
- All-purpose seasoning ** (the herbs in the spice didn’t go well with the other flavors of the soup)
- Chipotle Tabasco *** (great smoky kick, a little goes a long way)
- Maple flavor *** (surprisingly good, again a small amount is enough)
In some recipes I saw there was also orange juice. I wanted to try that out as well but somehow didn’t manage. I simply didn’t have any oranges or ready OJ at hand and I didn’t feel like shopping at that point. Who would drink the rest of the juice, anyway?
After some serious tasting and considering I decided to use onion as the only seasoning. I thought sautéed onion sounded too complicated, so I decided to go for onion powder.
Suddenly I got the idea to whip the cream and add it in the very end. That might make the consistency of the soup thicker and the texture foamy and dreamy. I was about to name the soup “Pumpkin Cappuccino” because of the foam. However, naming a soup as cappuccino is somewhat clichéd. Isn’t it?
In my next experiment I added the onion powder in the very beginning, cooked the soup for a half an hour, blended the soup and finally added the whipped cream. Absolutely perfect! The taste was mild and elegant and the texture thick and foamy.
|Nutrition information||Protein||Fat||Net carbs||kcal|
|In total:||21.1 g||67.0 g||37.0 g||835 kcal|
|Per serving if 4 servings:||5.3 g||16.7 g||9.2 g||209 kcal|
|Per serving if 6 servings:||3.5 g||11.2 g||6.2 g||139 kcal|
|Per serving if 8 servings:||2.6 g||8.4 g||4.6 g||104 kcal|
Tips for variation
This soup has onion as the only seasoning, so please feel free to use your favorite herbs and spices for more flavor. Here are some ideas for variations, you can replace the onion with one of the options or use that in addition to the onion powder:
- 1–2 tablespoons freshly grated peeled ginger root; add the ginger root after cooking, just before blending the soup
- 1–2 teaspoons maple flavor; garnish the servings with an ample amount of fried, chopped bacon
- 1 teaspoon curry powder; add the powder in the beginning with the pumpkin and the broth
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning; add it in the beginning, before simmering
- 1 teaspoon barbecue seasoning; add it in the beginning
A vegan modification is easy to make if you use vegetable broth and replace the heavy cream with coconut milk or cream, or with other vegetable-based cream. If you use coconut milk, keep the can in the fridge for overnight, open carefully and scoop out the thick layer from the top and add to the soup. Use the liquid bottom part for other purposes.
I would be delighted to hear what is your favorite spice for pumpkin soup!