You can turn pumpkin into pie, cookies, muffins, and more, but I’m here about Easy Pumpkin Soup — with roasted pumpkin seeds to add a little dazzle.
As soon as October shows up atop our big wall calendar in the kitchen, I, Nancie, begin to run on Pumpkin Time. I’ve always loved the word, the look, the flavor, and the ubiquitousness of pumpkin as a fall presence.
Busy Day Meal Plan? Soup Wins the Day!
Nothing beats the feeling of having a delicious, people-pleasing soup on hand to heat up for a good-food-fast meal. Whether it’s you after a busy day, weekend lunchtime, or a busy school-night supper, soup is a ready-when-we-are go-to treat.
Soup is also easy to “accessorize” with a side salad or sandwich, fruit and chips, or carrot and celery sticks with ranch dressing.
This beautiful pumpkin caught my eye at the farmer’s market, and I roasted it for soup and pie. Beautiful and tasty, but for this busy day soup? Not necessary, not at all!
Pumpkin Puree the Easy Way
I keep cans of pumpkin puree in my pantry all year long, because I use them for so many things, Here’s a lineup of some of my favorites. Pumpkin Ginger Muffins for breakfast delights. And keep my Pumpkin Cheesecake in mind for holiday dessert planning: it’s a real winner.
Just be sure you are getting pumpkin, and not “pumpkin pie filling”.
(Brown) Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice…
This soup is easy but that doesn’t mean it’s short on complexity and flavor. Pumpkin’s deep simple flavor gets a boost from the richness of butter, a savory-spice round up, and a little light brown sugar to bring everything together.
Thanks to #HalloweenTreatsWeek sponsor Dixie Crystals Sugar for providing me with light brown sugar to use in all my recipes for this Halloween blogging event, even this savory one!
If you DID decide to roast a pumpkin, this next image is the little reward awaiting you inside your pumpkin. And if you’re carving your Jack o’ Lantern, you still get these goodies, even when you don’t cook the pumpkin! Win-Win!
If you do cut open a fresh pumpkin, for Halloween decoration or for cooking and eating, save those seeds! Here are seeds from this one small pumpkin, and look how many there are! For my how-to on roasting them at hone, check “Notes” in my Easy Pumpkin Soup recipe, located toward the end of this post.
Roasting Pumpkin for Pumpkin Puree? Yes, you CAN!
You can (as in canned pumpkin, get it?) roast pumpkin in the oven, with delicious and beautiful results. Best candidates are smaller pumpkins with thick flesh, such as kabocha pumpkins.
You’ll find many pumpkins at the farmers’ markets work beautifully for roasting; supermarkets have them too. Roasted or canned puree, both work fine here.
But with Easy Pumpkin Soup in the title, this recipe points you in the canned puree direction.
What Else Works for This Fall Fave Soup?
You can use butternut squash with great results, on days when you’ve got time to prepare them and roast them with this flavorful array of spices and brown sugar.
Because butternut squash has such thick rich flesh, I like to add the butter, brown sugar, garlic, and spices to it after quartering it, and roast in the oven in big chunks.
But for quick-fix soup days, canned pumpkin is key to my easy pumpkin soup solution!
If you’re intrigued by the idea of roasting a pumpkin but hankering for some more detail, here’s what you need: A little video
How to roast a pumpkin, seeds and all, from a great food blog, “Steamy Kitchen”.
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or ground cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 3 cups pumpkin puree (approximately two 15-oz. cans)
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 3/4 cup roasted salted pumpkin seeds (see Notes)
In a small bowl, combine the light brown sugar, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir with a fork to mix well.
In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium high heat until melted and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and stir well. Cook, stirring often, until they are fragrant and softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the brown sugar-spice mixture and toss to mix everything well. Reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking, stirring often to avoid sticking and burning, until very fragrant, shiny, and tender, about 2 minutes more.
Add pumpkin and cook, stirring often to mix the spiced onions into the pumpkin puree, and to heat it well, about 2 min
Add 1 cup of the half-and-half to the saucepan, and stir with a whisk or a fork to make a smooth, thick, evenly combined mixture. Scrape the pumpkin mixture into a blender or a food processor. Working carefully since the mixture is hot, blend until the garlic and onions disappear into the liquid, 1 to 2 minutes.
Return the now-smooth pumpkin spiced mixture to the pan, and add the remaining half-and-half. Stir well and then cook over medium to medium low heat, simmering but not boiling, stirring now and then. Cook until smooth and evenly textured, about 15 minutes.
Taste soup and adjust salt if need be. Remove from heat and serve hot or warm, garnished with roasted pumpkin seeds.
You can buy roasted and salted pumpkin seeds: but if you want to make them yourself, here's what to do. Cut open a fresh pumpkin by slicing into it all around the stem, making a lid. Remove the lid and scoop out the seeds and fibers. An ice cream scoop or a big sturdy spoon works well here. Rinse seeds well in a colander or strainer, rubbing to remove fibers and strings. Heat oven to 400 degrees, and bring a medium saucepan of water to a rolling boil. Add a spoonful of salt and the seeds, and boil gently for 10 minutes. and remove the lid. Drain well. Spread olive oil on a cookie sheet and add the pumpkin seeds, stirring to coat them with the oil, Roast for 10 to 15 minutes in the 400 degree oven, until seeds are lightly golden and hot. Cool, sprinkle lightly with salt, and enjoy.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 323Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 53mgSodium 503mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 5gSugar 10gProtein 10g