Always looking for new ways to prepare pumpkin and winter squash, I’m game for almost anything. This roasted pumpkin soup recipe from Moro East looked on the surface to be much like other pumpkin soups I’ve made except for the condiments that get added at serving time. This cookbook is so exceptional I decided to give their pumpkin soup a try. Even to the point of ladling into the soup bowl I wasn’t certain this was anything special. And then…what subtle and captivating flavors. The second day is even better, if you happen to have leftovers.
The cooking process described below varies just a little from the Moro process, but this is definitely their creation, a glorious one at that.
Roasted Pumpkin Soup Ingredients
1 sugar pumpkin (or butternut squash)
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Course grind black pepper
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 finely minced garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
A pinch of crushed dried chili flakes
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
1 quart chicken broth
1 medium bunch cilantro
2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
3 tablespoon butter
2/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 clove finely minced garlic (or more garlic according to your taste)
Roasted Pumpkin Soup Steps
Wash, seed and peel the pumpkin.
Cut the pumpkin into 1 inch cubes and toss with 2 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the salt and a good sprinkle of pepper depending on your tastes. Toss well and spread out onto a large baking sheet.
Bake the pumpkin at 425 degrees for about an hour. The cubes should be soft and beginning to caramelize.
About 20 minutes before the pumpkin is ready, heat the remaining olive oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion and cook over a low flame for about 15 minutes until the onion begins to brown.
Add the garlic, cinnamon and chili flakes. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the roasted pumpkin, potato cubes and chicken stock. Cook for an additional 20 minutes to blend the flavors. While this is cooking, put together your condiments. See the steps below for instructions.
In the original recipe the cilantro gets chopped and added to the finished soup. One of the younger members of this tribe would not eat the soup if I followed that path. So here is the compromise: After the pumpkin, potato, and broth get added and all is nicely stirred, I lay the whole bundle of cilantro on top and add a tight-fitting lid. The soup comes alive with the flavor of cilantro. Before the next step I remove the bundle and hide the evidence.
Put the soup through your food processor in batches until all is smooth and creamy. Return to the pot. Add the fresh cilantro, minced, if you did not use my sneaky trick above. Stir.
Now check for seasonings. You may want to add a bit of sugar, depending on the sweetness of your pumpkin. This soup is savory rather than sweet, but sometimes just a bit of sugar can bring out flavors that are hiding in the wings. That is the case with this recipe. Check for salt and pepper and make adjustments.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with the pine nuts and yogurt condiments.
For the pine nuts, melt the butter with the cinnamon. Add the pine nuts and stir until the butter is brown and the pine nuts are just beginning to turn color. Be careful to not burn the butter – easy to do at this point.
For the yogurt, mix yogurt, garlic and salt. Thin with a bit of milk if necessary. You want it the consistency of a very thick cream.