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My pumpkin soup is missing something! Any ideas?

ursy_ten Apr 15, 2011 02:25 AM

This is my tried and true recipe - I've had it for years. I used to love it! But the last few times I feel like it's missing something. I don't know - maybe my tastes are changing or something. I think the recipe might be a good springboard for something fantastic, but what? Do you have an ingredient that sends your pumpkin soup into another dimension?


1 onion, chopped
½ teasp garlic, minced
1 tbsp butter
1 sml pumpkin, peeled, seeded and diced
1 potato, peeled and diced
stock cube(s)
1 - 2 cups cream
salt, pepper, paprika, nutmeg, to taste


In a large saucepan, gently saute the onion and garlic in butter / oil until onion is translucent (if you add a little oil to the butter, it's less likely to burn)
Turn the heat down to low.
Add the pumpkin and potato, put cover on and sweat vegetables about 5-10 minutes - more if you're being leisurely.
Dump it all into the crock pot, add water until mix is barely covered.
Crock it all day if you like - until the veges are soft at the very least (or on the stove if you haven't got a few hours)
When pumpkin and potato are soft, crumble the stock cube over the top and follow with the cream.
Add a dash of salt and pepper, paprika and nutmeg.

Blend with a stick blender, being careful not to splatter if it's still really hot!

Taste - adjust seasonings if desired.

Serve with a dob of sour cream on top and a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley (or your favourite herb)

  1. d
    dfrostnh Apr 15, 2011 02:39 AM

    I make a curried squash soup that contains apples. Maybe you're in the mood for something more exotic.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dfrostnh
      ursy_ten Apr 15, 2011 02:49 AM

      Yes, maybe I am in an exotic mood... and curry and apples sounds interesting!
      Thanks for the idea :)

    2. porker Apr 15, 2011 03:24 AM

      Not quite "exotic", but I find a smattering of ground thyme (powder) adds a different dimension to many soups. Start small (teaspoon) and go from there as it can become overwhelming quickly.

      1 Reply
      1. re: porker
        ursy_ten Apr 15, 2011 04:48 AM

        Thank you - I happen to have some thyme in the pantry too :)

      2. m
        MelMM Apr 15, 2011 03:40 AM

        Gorganzola, or other blue cheese. I got this from one of my Paula Wolfert books - I want to say the Southwest France one, but I'm not sure. I've since seen the combo elsewhere. It's good - a lot better than I would have expected. You blend the cheese in, so the soup is still smooth.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MelMM
          ursy_ten Apr 15, 2011 04:50 AM

          Thanks! Sounds yum :)

        2. h
          HunterJay Apr 15, 2011 04:38 AM

          Crumbled browned italian sausage.

          1 Reply
          1. re: HunterJay
            ursy_ten Apr 15, 2011 04:52 AM

            That sounds great too - so many things to try, think I'm going to have to get more pumpkins!

          2. chowser Apr 15, 2011 04:47 AM

            Instead of stock cubes, use some home made stock in place of water and cut the cream. Top w/ creme fraiche.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chowser
              ursy_ten Apr 15, 2011 06:02 AM

              Thank you chowser :)

            2. mamachef Apr 15, 2011 05:11 AM

              I'd head straight to the Middle East for spicing, to jazz this up: ginger, coriander, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and serve with a dab of raita.......or to South America, with the cumin, cilantro, some not-too-hot chiles.......which I would garnish with crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mamachef
                ursy_ten Apr 15, 2011 06:02 AM

                Ooh yum, some great ideas - thanks!

              2. i
                Indy 67 Apr 15, 2011 05:20 AM

                Some other additions:
                o swap Greek yogurt for cream and blend with freshly grated Parmesan cheese
                o a mixture of your favorite southwest spice blend, grated cheddar cheese
                o diced Roma Tomatoes and chipotle powder or diced fresh jalapeno peppers
                o dark brown sugar, grated fresh ginger
                o wild rice
                o throw in some leeks or shallots in addition to/in place of onion, add sauteed mushrooms

                2 Replies
                1. re: Indy 67
                  ursy_ten Apr 15, 2011 06:03 AM

                  Wonderful - must try some of these, thank you!

                  1. re: Indy 67
                    IndyGirl Apr 16, 2011 09:09 AM

                    Definitely second the chipotle. Or hungarian smoked paprika

                  2. meatn3 Apr 15, 2011 07:27 AM

                    I add some heat (your choice of pepper - fresh or dry), lots of cumin and coconut milk. I use chicken stock as the base. Serve with a wedge of lime and a splash of bitters.

                    I don't use potato in mine.

                    1. c
                      cathyeats Apr 15, 2011 07:30 AM

                      I would make a couple of changes. First, use a high-quality vegetable stock (or chicken) rather than a cube. Then maybe ditch the heavy cream and try just a half cup of yogurt instead. WIth those two adjustments, I think you'll have a fresher, tangier soup.

                      1. alanbarnes Apr 15, 2011 07:31 AM

                        Agree with the thyme recommendation above, although I like the flecks of color you get by adding fresh leaves. And a few dashes of fish sauce can increase complexity and depth of flavor.

                        1. i
                          imsohungry Apr 15, 2011 07:46 AM

                          I like to throw in a parmesan rind (which I collect and keep in the freezer) during the "stewing" part of the recipe, and remove before the pureeing (any gooey cheese that remains on the rind is the cook's spoils). That, and a hint of cayenne, but like another poster said about thyme, best to start with just a touch and go from there. I almost killed a couple of dinner guests last time I served due to a over-enthusiastic hand. Oops.

                          1. h
                            HillJ Apr 15, 2011 07:49 AM

                            Agree with every suggestion posted, wow I'll be trying quite a few myself.

                            On the veggie or fruit side I have tried adding (not all together; in separate batches) apple, carrots, leek, onion, fennel, zukes, roasted pumpkin cubes, pears, apricots, turnips.

                            On the creamy side I've also tried Greek yogurt, sour cream, light cream, soy milk, coconut milk and no cream at all. On stock I prefer vegetable broth.

                            Spice wise def. curry, thyme, black garlic, roasted leeks, cumin, lemongrass, or go the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice route....lots of ground black pepper and never any salt.

                            I also like to top the bowl of soup with slivered black garlic or dried mushroom powder, homemade humus, honey, crushed pumpkin seeds, nigella seeds, roasted red pepper puree, a grilled eggplant or a dollup of yogurt.

                            One of the most adapatable and delicious meals pumpkin soup!

                            1. chefj Apr 15, 2011 09:45 AM


                              1. monavano Apr 15, 2011 09:54 AM

                                fried, crumbled fresh sage.

                                1. rabaja Apr 15, 2011 09:59 AM

                                  I used to love an old Margaret Fox recipe for pumpkin soup that has pureed tomato in it.
                                  It was super simple, and used a can of pumpkinn and a can of crushed tomatoes, IIRC. -Of course you could use fresh, but the cans really delivered some delicious soup. We even made it for Thanksgiving one year.
                                  I would use homemade stock though, but I always try to have that in my freezer.
                                  It's based on sauteed onions, nothing unusual, and finished with a touch of cream if desired.
                                  If you'd like the recipe I will gladly dig out my Morning Food book.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: rabaja
                                    ursy_ten Apr 15, 2011 07:23 PM

                                    I think I might have found it via google - is this it?

                                    It looks pretty amazing!

                                    1. re: ursy_ten
                                      rabaja Apr 15, 2011 08:13 PM

                                      My response didn't seem to take...or maybe two duplicates will show up later...

                                      No matter.

                                      Yes, that seems to be it, but I really feel like the pumpkin flavor does stand up to the tomato, I wouldn't agree with the author of the blog who states it more of a tomato soup.

                                      It is very good, and that's what matters.

                                      The honey and nutmeg add that certain something without overwhelming, and the creme fraiche is entirely up to the individual. Very good with, or without.

                                      I personally would have the soup with cornbread or a flaky, savory scone. Save the cutie-patootie leaf shapes for a pie or something.
                                      I do hope you make it, and enjoy it!

                                    2. re: rabaja
                                      mamachef Apr 16, 2011 12:18 AM

                                      rabaja, isn't that a wonderful book? I was fortunate enough to work at The Beauj. during summer vacations. Margaret helped me define my own food philosophy through her example, and it was there that my True Love for Cooking was born,

                                      1. re: mamachef
                                        rabaja Apr 16, 2011 08:21 AM

                                        I love that book! I remember getting it for Xmas one year and just hunckering down with it for the rest of the day, laughing at all of the sidebars.
                                        I did my extern there, specifically because of Fox, who I just admired so much. This was back in'96/'97, and I ended up working more with her husband at the time, as they'd just adopted a little girl and she'd stepped back from the kitchen.
                                        Still a great experience, and I loved living up there for a bit. I still seek out their breads (and BAGELS!) and jam when I'm in the area.
                                        I think Fox inspired an awful lot of us. Wish she'd write another book, she is hysterically witty.

                                    3. i
                                      Isolda Apr 15, 2011 10:17 AM

                                      My all-purpose question for correcting flat or bland soups is: Does it need heat, acid or alcohol? Sometimes it needs all three. I like red pepper flakes, balsamic or cider vinegar, or sherry in creamy soups.

                                      I'd also cut the cream. That fat can really cover up a lot of flavors.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Isolda
                                        mamachef Apr 16, 2011 12:21 AM

                                        Plus a million on the vinegar addition, Isolda. Isn't it amazing what just a few drops can do to make things sparkle? Not to mention a few grains of kosher salt, giving it a few minutes to completely dissolve it before you add more.......

                                        1. re: mamachef
                                          Isolda Apr 16, 2011 09:19 AM

                                          One of my favorite soups, Egyptian Bread Soup, is heavily dependent on vinegar for its wonderful flavor. You boil some marrow bones in plain water with a lot of s&p, then about an hour into the cooking, add some cubes of lamb. Simmer about 2 hours. Fifteen minutes before serving, add a little rice. While the rice is cooking, toast some pita bread (homemade is best), break it up, and put a few pieces in each serving bowl. Then, in a skillet, melt some butter, saute lots of garlic in there, then pour in a large splash of red wine vinegar. Sprinkle (or douse) the toasted pita with this mixture, then ladle the soup over it. Garnish with minced italian parsley. Everyone in the family adores this soup.

                                      2. ursy_ten Apr 15, 2011 07:25 PM

                                        Thanks everyone for so many wonderful ideas - you've given me a LOT to experiment with!

                                        1. chef chicklet Apr 16, 2011 08:31 AM

                                          Nice soup and some great ideas, if I missed it sorry for duplicating.
                                          For the top seasoned pepitas, or plain, chives with your dollop
                                          I had a most memorable pumkin soup in SF one time with dinner, and they had the pepitas which are easy to toast and spice up.

                                          For a lovely presentation perhaps cover in puff pastry and bake it off for extra crunch.
                                          Now I want some!

                                          1. mcf Apr 16, 2011 09:22 AM

                                            I don't use potato, but I do add white wine, chicken stock and fresh thyme leaves. I also love to add chopped andouille sausage for some heat and heartiness in winter.

                                            1. m
                                              magiesmom Apr 16, 2011 09:23 AM

                                              Pear is really nice in pumpkin soup. Real stock and fresh herbs , yogurt ( or coconut milk ot go in a different direction). Also, maybe the pumpkin just isn't flavorful, as not all are.

                                              1. artychokeasana Apr 16, 2011 11:23 AM

                                                try coconut milk instead of cream-delicious especially if you use soe asian spicies-star anise, ginger maybe a little lemongrass.

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