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Roasted Pumpkin & Apple Soup

This simple roasted pumpkin and apple soup will boost your spirits on a gloomy autumn evening. Lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg this is a lovely way to celebrate the flavors of the season.

Ingredients:

Candied Pumpkin Seeds

  •     1 cup pumpkin seeds (from about one 4 pound sugar pumpkin)
  •     4 tablespoons natural cane sugar
  •     1/4 teaspoon salt
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •     1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  •     tiny pinch of cayenne pepper
  •     1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil

Soup

  •     4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  •     one 4 pound sugar pie pumpkin
  •     1 large yellow onion, chopped
  •     2 large sweet-tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into large chunks
  •     4 cloves of garlic, minced
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •     1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •     1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  •     tiny pinch of cayenne (optional)
  •     4 cups vegetable broth + additional to thin if necessary
  •     1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (start with 1 tablespoon and add more if need be)
  •     1/4 cup cashew cream (or crème frîache)
  •     salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Prepare the Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Preheat the oven to 250F. Slice your sugar pie pumpkin in half. Scrape out the seeds and remove any excess flesh. Pat the seeds dry and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for one hour, tossing the seeds once or twice while cooking.
  2. In a bowl combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar with the cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne.
  3. Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cook until sugar melts and seeds caramelize, about 45 seconds (don’t take your eye off the pan as this process goes really fast!)
  4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl with the spices and mix well.

Prepare the Soup

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Slice (your already halved pumpkin) into quarters. Drizzle each piece with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place flesh side down on a prepared baking sheet and roast until fork tender, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the pumpkin slightly cool.
  2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot. Add the onion, apples, garlic and salt and cook, stirring often for about 8 minutes.
  3. While the veggies sauté scoop out the pumpkin flesh from the roasted pumpkin wedges. Add the flesh to the pot along with the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cayenne. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup for about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the soup cool for a few moments before carefully transferring to a blender (you may have to do this in batches) and pureeing until smooth and creamy. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender (or stick blender) though the soup wont become as creamy.
  4. Return the soup to the pot and drizzle in the maple syrup and cashew cream. If the soup seems to thick add a touch more broth to thin if necessary. Taste test and adjust seasonings as needed. Divide between mugs and serve with candied pumpkin seeds
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