Spicy pumpkin soup with Southwestern flavors of chipotle, cumin, oregano, and served with pepitas, crema fresca, and cilantro.
If canned chipotle in adobo is not available, you can use chipotle powder, start with one teaspoon and increase to taste. If chipotle powder is not available, use 1/2 teaspoon of regular chili powder, increasing to taste, and a dash of liquid smoke. Note that fresh pumpkins vary in their moisture content, so you may need to add more liquid, either water or stock, to get to the consistency you want, depending on how thick or thin you would like your soup to be.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1-2 chipotle peppers (canned in adobo, 1 for mild, 2 for spicy), chopped
- 8 cups chopped, cooked pumpkin* (1 7-8 pound cooking pumpkin to yield 8 cups cooked pumpkin, or 3 15-ounce cans of canned pumpkin)
- 4 to 6 cups chicken stock, depending on desired thickness and how thick your pumpkin purée is (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option, can sub water for some of the stock)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- Toasted, shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- Creme fresca, creme fraiche or sour cream thinned with a little water so that it's runny
*To cook fresh pumpkin, use a good cooking pumpkin (i.e. sugar pumpkin, fairytale pumpkin, hubbard, or kabocha pumpkin), cut in half, scoop out the seeds, place the pumpkin cut side down on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for about an hour, or until soft. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh or cut away the skin. Let cool. Freeze for long term storage.
1 Heat oil in a large pot (8-quart) on medium high heat. Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, cumin, and chipotle, cook for 1 minute more.
2 Add the pumpkin, chicken stock, oregano, and salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, partially covered.
3 If you are working with raw pumpkin seeds, now would be a good time to toast them. (If your pumpkin seeds are already toasted, skip this step.) Just spread them out in an even layer in a frying pan on medium high heat. Stir with a wooden spoon while toasting, until the pumpkin seeds are fragrant and are lightly browned. Remove to a bowl.
4 Remove the soup from heat. Working in batches of 2 cups each, purée the soup in batches, holding down the lid the your blender tightly while puréeing, and starting on a slow speed. Return the puréed soup to the pot.
5 Add lime juice. Adjust seasonings to taste, adding more salt, cumin, oregano, or chipotle to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more stock or water to desired consistency.
Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), crema fresca drizzled over the top, and chopped cilantro.
Yield: Makes 2 to 2 1/2 quarts.