Pumpkin Soup with Smoked Paprika

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Have you ever tried cooking with smoked paprika? A few months ago I posted a recipe for roasted chicken with smoked paprika in which I told how I first encountered smoked paprika in a kumara soup in New Zealand.

Like chipotle, smoked paprika can add a wonderful smokey dimension to food. It’s perfect with this rich and creamy pumpkin soup. McCormick is putting some marketing effort behind promoting this wonderful spice, so you should be able to find it easily in your local supermarket.

Pumpkin Soup with Smoked Paprika Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Roasting pumpkin time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 4-5 pound cooking pumpkin* to yield 6 cups roasted pumpkin OR 3 (15 ounce) cans of pumpkin purée
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped, about 2 cups
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 large tart green apple (Granny Smith) peeled, cored, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option, and gluten-free broth for gluten-free version)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

* Most pumpkins in the store are meant for jack-o-lanterns, not eating. Use a sugar pumpkin or a Japanese Kabocha pumpkin if you are going to cook with it.

Method

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Kabocha pumpkins. If you use a Kabocha, note they are pretty hard, use a strong, sturdy knife and be careful when you cut the pumpkin.

1 To make pumpkin purée, cut a sugar or Kabocha pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds* and stringy stuff (an ice cream scoop works well for this purpose), lie face down on a foil or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use.

* Don't throw away the seeds! Use them to make toasted pumpkin seeds.

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2 Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Add smoked paprikaground cumin, and cayenne and stir for a minute more.

3 Add the chopped apple and pumpkin purée. Add broth and water. Add the thyme and ground sage. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Season with a little salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the apples are cooked through.

4 Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender or a food processor. Cover tightly and blend until smooth. OR use an immersion blender to purée.

If you want extra smooth soup, pass the purée through a food mill, after it's been through the blender.

Return the soup to the saucepan.

5 With soup on low heat, slowly add the milk and cream, stirring to incorporate. Add salt to taste. Adjust other seasonings to taste.

Can make a day ahead.

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Showing 4 of 17 Comments

  • Nicole

    Hi Elise, I just noticed that the recipe calls for sage and thyme in the ingredients list but it isn’t in the instructions. Would this be added along with the smoked paprika and other spices? Or just at the end? Thanks!!

  • Susie

    The flavors in this soup were incredible. My husband does not like cream soup. So I chopped up the apples and the onions very fine and added the pumkpkin that I had frozen in the fall to the pot along with the herbs and the wonderful smoked paprika that I purchased at Costco. He also thinks he has to have meat, so I added smoked turkey sausage. After letting it simmer for 20 minutes, this soup was thick and creamy with vegetable and meat bites. He loved the soup without ever knowing it was pumpkin. I left the cream out to reduce the calories. It was great without it. I did put a little in my bowl to see how much it would change the flavor. Both versions were fantastic. I think my comment was, I could die eating this soup and be happy.

  • Chelsea

    Hi Elise,

    This sounds delicious..I’m wondering, my boyfriend can’t really handle cream..Would i be able to substitute soy milk for the milk and cream or maybe do soy milk and half and half so its a little less dairy?

    You could just replace the dairy with more stock. Or water. Or you could try it with soy milk. I’ve not used soy milk as a substitute for regular milk in cooking. But I have made a butternut squash soup without cream and it was fine. ~Elise

  • PB

    Is pumkin soup served hot or cold? What’s typical?

    I would serve it hot. ~Elise

  • Therese

    I had high hopes fot this recipe and was disappointed. I’m so glad I didn’t invite our vegetarian friends to join us. The soup had a lovely, creamy mouth-feel, but the smoked paprika was overpowering and gave the soup a very off flavor. I’ll try it again though with a few modifications, and without the smoked paprika.

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