I love making soup, especially this time of year as the fall colors come into play and the temperatures start to drop. The aromas that fill the house are so comforting and there's nothing better than a pot of hot soup on the stove. With fall comes pumpkins and with pumpkins come fall dishes. This pumpkin soup recipe comes with a smoky element of heat from the chipotle pepper. It's a winning combination. If you are not into the "caliente" heat in your food, add just a smidge of this pepper for the deep smokey flavor.
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 pureed 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
Sauté onions, garlic, cumin, chipotle: 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.
Add pumpkin, stock, oregano, salt, then simmer: Add the pumpkin, chicken stock, oregano, and salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, partially covered.
Toast pumpkin seeds: 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. Move to a bowl.
Purée soup: 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.
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.
This soup is going to be on my dinner table this weekend and I hope you get a chance to share this dish with your family and friends!