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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lili's Pumpkin Soup

Someone recently asked for my pumpkin soup recipe. So, the other night, I actually paid attention to what I was doing while making a pot of it, and took notes. Do you have dishes that you prepare that you just add some of this, a little of this, and taste to see what else it needs? I was trying to tell my son how much mayo to add to some cole slaw dressing the other evening, and just said "a glob of mayo". How does one quantify a glob of anything? So, as I said, with this soup, I paid attention this time, and actually measured what I usually use.

This is not a blow-your-socks-off kind of soup. There are no extraordinary ingredients. You won't need to comb the shelves of the local gourmet shop for anything in the recipe. You may already have just about everything it calls for, in your kitchen right now. It's a basic, yet very delicious, pumpkin soup. 

Lili's Pumpkin Soup (5-6 servings)

1 tablespoon any cooking oil
1 large onion, sliced thin, then rough chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
the flesh of one roasted 2 lb. sugar pie pumpkin, or 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
6 cups water and/or stock (chicken stock is preferred, but ham stock is also nice, and water will be fine, too)
dash red pepper flakes
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup shredded, cooked chicken breast
1 cup diced ham
pinch nutmeg
salt, to taste (depends on whether your stock is already salted, 1 to 2 teaspoons)
1 shallot, finely minced 

Heat a large stockpot over Medium. Add oil and onion. Saute onion until golden. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute.

Add pumpkin, 4 cups of stock and/or water and the red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

After cooking -- If your pumpkin is not pureed (for example, I roasted my pumpkin in the morning, then scraped the flesh from the skin upon cooking the soup), then either mash well with a potato masher, or use an immersion blender (I just mashed mine).

Add diced potato and 2 remaining cups of stock or water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 more minutes, stirring occasionally, to prevent scorching. Mash or blend the potatoes into the soup.

Add chicken, ham, nutmeg, and salt to taste. Heat for 5 minutes (until meats are heated through). Stir in minced shallot and serve.

I've made this with just chicken, just ham, no meat whatsoever, and with both meats. The consensus is it's at its best with both meats. I prefer using a fresh pumpkin over canned. Homecooked pumpkin has a prettier color and lighter flavor than canned. For the liquid, I prefer half chicken stock and half water. This soup is also delicious made with squash in lieu of the pumpkin, butternut squash being the favorite. One other bonus -- the leftovers freeze very well. I freeze the soup in single-size portions, for my weekday lunches.

If you liked this recipe, my name is Lili and I've been happy to provide it for you. Please leave a comment in the "comment field". If you didn't like this recipe, my name is . . .um. . .er. . .Bob, and I think the comments are malfunctioning today, yeah, that's it, the comments aren't working, so don't bother leaving one.


  1. Lili, I am going to make this later this week when I cook my next pumpkin!

  2. Testing, testing. 1,2,3 This is June leaving a comment for testing. Soup looks good.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Ha-ha! Thanks, it makes a pretty soup, doesn't it?!

  3. Thanks so much Lili. I'll give this recipe a try soon.
    As for the glob og mayo story...
    When I was learning how to make bread I asked my mother how long I needed to keep knead the dough. Her answer:"until it feels right" I was totally frusterated by her reply, how was I supposed to know what right feels like when I had never made bread before. I have always tried to give more acurate answers even when I do add a glob or know by the feel of the dough that it needs some more flour.

    1. Hi frugal spinster,
      Yeah, I realized with my son, especially, it would have been better to give him a measurement, rather than "a glob".
      I hope you enjoy the soup!


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