i was at the store today and saw sugar pumpkins (baking pumpkins) and knew immediately i would be side tracked today trying to figure out what to do with them. soup seemed to be a perfect option for a somewhat last minute meal. when in a hurry, it is easy to go with the canned pumpkin, but today i wanted to start this soup off with freshly baked pumpkin. there is no better time to start with the pumpkin flavor than the cooler days of october. what is it about seasons, but they definately change what we crave. in a good way… this dish has a bit of heat so if you feel it is too hot, at the time to add the cream, feel free to add more to taste to soften the heat. the last minute addition of feta adds a salty tang to complete the soup. creme fraiche is a great substitute if you have it on hand.
*in the past shredded chicken (leftover, that is) has been thrown in for a heartier soup. it is a nice addition, but this soup will fill you up just fine without the chicken. for a vegetarian version, a vegetable stock can be substituted for the chicken stock.
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 cups pumpkin puree, flesh only, or 3 cans pure pumkin (not pumpkin pie filling).
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c heavy cream
1/4 c feta
cilantro for garnish
toasted pumkin seeds for garnish
pumkin puree: cut out the stem and cut 2 sugar pumkins in half and scoop out the seeds including the stringy membranes. Lie them face down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350 degree oven until soft. this could be between 45 minutes to an hour. at 35 minutes mine appeared to be done but i went ahead a left them in for close to 10 more minutes. sizes vary as well oven temps, use your own judgement. it is best when they can be scooped out of the skin with a spoon.
heat a 4 quart saucepan over medium high heat. add onions and sautee for several minutes until they are becoming translucent, about 4 minutes. add the garlic and cook, stirring often for a minute longer. once the onions and garlic are softened, add the spices and cook for a minute longer, stirring often.
add the pumpkin and stir until mixed, then add the chicken broth and blend. bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for another 15 minutes.
using an emulsifier, puree the soup until smooth and there are no chunks. if you do not have an emulsifier, you can transfer the soup in batches to a blender. return soup to the saucepan if using a blender, once blended.
warm soup on low heat and add the brown sugar, stir well, and add the milk slowly and stir until combined. add the whipping cream. add more salt and pepper to taste.
ladle in soup bowls and sprinkle the feta on top so it can slowly melt into the soup. then sprinkle with cilantro and toasted pumkin seeds.