If you are like many out there, Halloween has passed and you still have at least one or two small pumpkins sitting around with no use for them. Look no further – I have your solution! This simple, warm, subtly spicy soup is a delicious way to make use of your spare small pumpkins. The type of pumpkin I am referring to is also referred to as “sugar pumpkins” or “pumpkin pie pumpkins,” which are smaller and sweeter than your large jack-o-lantern variety (you can look up “sugar pumpkin” on Google images to make sure you have the right kind). Of course, if you don’t have fresh pumpkin and still want to try out this recipe, you can use canned “pure pumpkin” (NOT pumpkin pie filling).
Pumpkin is a great source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese, and is also a good source of Vitamin E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus. One cup of mashed pumpkin is equal to only 49 calories, making this soup both nutritious and diet-friendly.
This recipe (again) comes from Skinnytaste, though I modified the original a decent amount. I only had one medium sized sugar pumpkin on hand so I made up for the rest with canned pumpkin since I had about 3/4 of a can left over from making my delicious Pumpkin Spice Cookies. I don’t know anyone who keeps shallots on hand (truthfully I didn’t even know what they were until this year) so I substituted that for a combination of onion and garlic, which is what is typically recommended. And besides parsley and basil, I never have fresh herbs on hand so I converted fresh sage to dried sage.
Good to know: in general, the conversion is 1 Tbsp fresh herbs = 1/3 Tbsp (= 1 tsp) dried herbs.
This recipe requires very little “hands on” time but will take about 2 hours from start to finish because you have to roast the pumpkin (unless you are using canned pumpkin, in which case this recipe will be very quick and you can immediately skip to Step #3).
- 1 medium sugar pumpkin + 1 – 15oz can pure pumpkin (OR 2 small-medium sugar pumpkins OR 5 cups canned pumpkin)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 – 10.5oz cans fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp white pepper (or 1/2 tsp black pepper)
- salt to taste
- Optional: light sour cream for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400. Cut pumpkin(s) in half and scoop out seeds [put aside if you’d like to roast them for a snack later!]. Set pumpkin halves (cut side up) on foil lined baking sheet and roast for 1 – 1.5 hrs. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. I would roast it less than the full 1.5 hrs…mine was slightly over roasted but it didn’t negatively impact the taste.
- Once it is cool enough to handle, scoop out the pumpkin flesh with a spoon and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in medium-large pot on medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring frequently, 3-4 minutes or until onion has softened. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
- Add fresh pumpkin (and canned pumpkin), chicken broth, sage, salt, and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow soup to simmer about 15 minutes.
- At this point you have a few choices: A) If you like a chunkier soup, you can serve it now, B) If you like a smooth soup, you can blend the soup in a blender or food processor and then serve, C) If you like your soup somewhere in the middle, you can blend the soup a little bit with a hand mixer in the pot you cooked it in and then serve.
I personally like a little texture in my soup so I didn’t bother to blend it too much. The subtle spiciness of the sage and pepper is awesome paired with the sweetness of the pumpkin. Even my husband, who is NOT a vegetable lover and who sampled this soup only reluctantly, said it was delicious and had a whole bowl (trust me, this is huge)!