The Eclectic Quill

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Curry Maple Pumpkin Soup with Chili Pepitas

What is it about cold weather that makes us crave soup so much?  What is it about a beautiful pumpkin that screams "make me into soup!"?  I'm sure there are some great explanations, but they are best pondered over a bowl of this nuanced and exotic cream soup.  Enjoy!

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Curry Maple Pumpkin Soup with Chili Pepitas

  • 1 medium pumpkin (large enough to provide 5 cups pumpkin pulp)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley – rinsed, patted dry, and chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves – rinsed, patted dry, and chopped
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 1½ cups half & half and 1 cup milk, combined
  • chili powder
  • sea salt
  • canola oil
  • poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Remove stem and top from pumpkin.  Cut pumpkin into halves.  Using an ice cream scoop, remove seeds and strings from pumpkin halves and set aside.  Cut halves of pumpkin into halves again, yielding four pieces total.

Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with canola oil.  Place pumpkin quarters on baking sheet, skin side down.  Oil surfaces of pumpkin flesh with canola oil, and salt flesh liberally with sea salt.  Place in oven for 1 hour.  Begin to prepare Chili Pepitas (below).  Turn pumpkin quarters skin side up and bake for another 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let sit until cool enough to handle.  Place Chili Pepitas in oven.

Remove pumpkin flesh from skin with an ice cream scoop.  Measure 5 cups of packed pumpkin pulp and set aside.

Melt ¼ cup of butter in the bottom of a heavy stockpot.  Add sliced shallots and sauté for five minutes.  Add garlic, parsley, and thyme and sauté for another minute.  Stir in pumpkin pulp and coat with shallot mixture.  Add chicken stock, curry powder, and bay leaf.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to barest simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove bay leaf, and transfer contents of pot to a metal bowl.  In four batches, transfer hot mixture to blender or food processor.  Purée until smooth.  Return each batch to pot.  Cover and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Stirring constantly, slowly incorporate maple syrup, then incorporate the half & half and milk mixture, to make a smooth cream soup.  Ladle into bowls.  Top with chili pepitas and sprinkle with poppy seeds.  Serve hot.

Chili Pepitas

Separate pumpkin seeds from strings.  Rinse seeds thoroughly, drain, and place on a plate covered with two layers of paper towels.  Top with two layers of paper towels and pat dry.  Toss dry pumpkin seeds in canola oil. To each cup of pumpkin seeds, add 1 tsp chili powder and ½ tsp sea salt and toss.  Place in single layer in bottom of oven-safe skillet.  Place in 375°F oven.  Toast for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes with a wooden spoon.

Worth thousands of words

Start with a medium-sized pumpkin

Start with a medium-sized pumpkin

Use a small, heavy, serrated knife to remove the stem and carve the pumpkin.

Use a small, heavy, serrated knife to remove the stem and carve the pumpkin.

This one had a sprouted seed!  It's trying to make a new pumpkin vine.  Don't use seeds like this, but it's pretty cool nonetheless.

This one had a sprouted seed!  It's trying to make a new pumpkin vine.  Don't use seeds like this, but it's pretty cool nonetheless.

Remove the strings and seeds with an ice cream scoop.

Remove the strings and seeds with an ice cream scoop.

Your results will look like this.

Your results will look like this.

Pumpkin quarters before the oven.

Pumpkin quarters before the oven.

Pumpkin seeds.  Pat them dry!

Pumpkin seeds.  Pat them dry!

Pumpkin seeds tossed with oil and seasoning.

Pumpkin seeds tossed with oil and seasoning.

Pumpkin after baking.

Pumpkin after baking.


Pumpkin pulp!

Pumpkin pulp!

Measure out the ingredients for the soup so that you don't find yourself rushing around.

Measure out the ingredients for the soup so that you don't find yourself rushing around.

Butter melting.  Mmmmm!

Butter melting.  Mmmmm!

Ingredients in the pot.  Ready to start cooking!

Ingredients in the pot.  Ready to start cooking!

After thirty minutes, your soup should look like this.

After thirty minutes, your soup should look like this.

After your keen blender skills, the soup should look like this.

After your cool blender skills, the soup should look like this.

The cooked soup in the pot.

The cooked soup in the pot.

Liquid ingredients that we're adding. How can you go wrong with maple syrup and half & half?

Liquid ingredients that we're adding. How can you go wrong with maple syrup and half & half?

The final result.  Looks amazing and tastes even better.

The final result.  Looks amazing and tastes even better.

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