Whole Pumpkin Soup
Perfect for taking the chill off any autumn night, pumpkin soup baked in a pumpkin is a nifty fall treat. Pulled hot from the oven, a cup of this delectable soup gives your guests a warm welcome and is a nice way to greet them just as soon as you take their coat.
This recipe has fun written all over it and would be perfect for cooking with kids. You will take charge of the sharp knife and the oven, but little hands are perfect for prepping the “goo” off the seeds and adding everything into the pumpkin before it cooks. Then, one part fairy tale, one part magic – before you know it you’ve got something fabulous to feast on.
Flavorful and deliciously seasoned, this piping hot soup served right from the pumpkin generated a lot of excitement. I cut the teaspoon of cumin called for in the original recipe down to 1/2 teaspoon, thinking I would add the remainder in after cooking, however, I found it to be just right. You can make this recipe vegan by using vegetable stock and the coconut milk option. Prepping your pumpkin and baking the seeds is detailed in step one. You can discard the seeds and save some time by just making the soup, but if you can, why not slow down and roast the seeds as well. You’ll be using the entire pumpkin, plus making something good to snack on later.
While the pumpkin I picked had the most flair, I did not anticipate that its large, flamboyant stem was bigger than it looked and would not fit into my oven. If this happens to you, too, don’t be spooked. Just cover your pumpkin with foil and let your lid cook in the dish alongside.
Turn your pumpkin into an Instant Pot and celebrate National Pumpkin Day this October 26. The magical ending of this recipe? Pumpkins leave you with no dishes.
Whole Pumpkin Soup
- 1 4 pound baking pumpkin
- 3-4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons neutral oil (canola or grapeseed)
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, plus 1 whole, divided
- 2 shallots, diced
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 loaf French bread, sliced for serving
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a large, rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Scrub pumpkin thoroughly; rinse well and dry. Using a sharp knife at a 45-degree angle, slice a lid about 4 inches in diameter into the top of the pumpkin. Scoop out seeds and pulp from inside pumpkin and trim up any bits from lid. Separate seeds from pulp, then transfer seeds to a colander and rinse well. Dry seeds on clean kitchen towels then spread seeds onto sheet pan. Toss with 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil (about 1 Tablespoon oil per cup of seeds) and a generous pinch of kosher salt. Bake until toasted and golden, about 25 minutes, tossing halfway through. Set aside.
Adjust oven to 350ºF. Use 1 teaspoon of neutral oil to grease a baking dish large enough to fit your pumpkin. Rub outside of pumpkin and lid with remaining neutral oil and place in baking dish. Fill pumpkin with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, sliced garlic, and remaining ingredients (except bread). Stir, place lid on pumpkin and bake 45 minutes or until a cake tester or small paring knife pierces the skin with just a bit of resistance, testing every 15 minutes or so, up to 45 minutes more. Take lid off with pot holder and let cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, lightly brush slices of bread with olive oil, then rub with reserved clove of garlic. Toast in oven until golden brown. Scoop some of pumpkin flesh from inside pumpkin and lid into soup, then pureé inside pumpkin using an immersion blender. Ladle into bowls, top with toasted pumpkin seeds and serve with toasted bread.
– by Rebecca Firkser, as seen on Taste