Pumpkin Soup with Fried Pumpkin Seeds
This crowd-pleaser is exactly the kind of sultry, comforting indulgence you want on a cold Autumn night. It's great for a crowd because everyone gets their own individual pumpkin, and each component can be made ahead of time.
For the soup:
1 large sugar or pie pumpkin cut half and seeds removed and reserved (plus 4 small ones if you are making pumpkin bowls)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small shallots chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped
4 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth if you desire)
1 cup coconut milk + 1 cup water or 2 cups water
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more or less to your liking
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
For the fried pumpkin seeds:
1 tablespoon coconut milk
1 tablespoon flour
reserved pumpkin seeds from above
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut your pumpkin in half or into fourths and reserve the pumpkin seeds for later. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and rub the pumpkin with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves. Peel any excess paper/skin off from the bulb of garlic. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil on top the garlic cloves and cover with foil. Roast both the pumpkin and garlic together on the same baking sheet for 45 minutes, or until the pumpkin is fork tender and the garlic golden brown and soft.
Remove from the oven and allow everything to cool five minutes. Squeeze garlic out of the paper skin into a small bowl and mash well with a fork, set aside.
Scoop your pumpkin out, removing all the cooked flesh, leaving the shells in-tact. Puree with 1 cup of the chicken broth, puree until completely smooth.
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the butter and shallots. Saute the the shallots until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and cook another 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin puree, remaining chicken, coconut milk, water, cayenne, nutmeg, maple syrup and crushed red pepper. Bring the soup to a low simmer and simmer 15-20 minutes.
To fry the pumpkin seeds. Add the reserved pumpkin seeds to a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon coconut milk and 1 tablespoon flour. In a small bowl combine the chipotle chili powder, pepper and brown sugar. Place a skillet on the stove top and set to medium heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the pumpkin seeds into the pan, but be careful!
Stir the pumpkin seeds around in the skillet with a spoon or spatula continuously until they expand and start to brown. Once the seeds are browned remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel to drain. Toss with the chili powder and a good pinch of salt. Taste and season accordingly.
To assemble the soup, ladle the soup into bowls (or your roasted pumpkins) and top each bowl with a dollop of pesto, a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and if desired drizzle with coconut milk.
About the Chef
Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.