It’s the time of year when pumpkin is king. What years ago was an ingredient reserved for pie at Thanksgiving is now found in breads, casseroles, various desserts, cakes and pumpkins. And soup. I’m excited to share with you today an awesome Creamy Southwestern Pumpkin Soup recipe ~ not just for how delicious and easy this soup is, but because of the story behind this soup.
The Story Behind the Soup
One year ago as part of my (unpaid) “job” writing a column for a local neighborhood magazine, I met and interviewed a lovely lady who was very active in the Dallas County Master Gardener Association. This group, 400~members strong, is a non~profit, educational and volunteer service organization which benefits Dallas County through educational programs and supports over 30 community and school gardening projects. You may have similar organizations in your community. I’ve known other ladies who are members of DCMGA, but Linda was certainly one of the most active and busy: she was chairman of the group’s multi~year effort to write, produce and market a brand new cookbook.
Well, finally, after months of gathering, testing, editing and photographing hundreds of recipes, this beautiful cookbook has arrived. Last week I dropped by Linda’s home to pick up my copy. I was immediately impressed with the beautiful cover. Flipping through the pages, I could see how the gorgeous photography enhanced the recipes. Introducing A Year on the Plate, a coffee table sized book organized by seasons and very food and garden~focused.
Now, Linda knows I’m a cooking instructor, in fact, she’s attended a cooking class. She also knows I’m a lifestyle blogger who gives a great deal of attention to recipes. She asked me to look through the cookbook, pick a few recipes, prepare them and share them with my readers ~ you. I was happy to do that. The timing was perfect. This Monday, I taught a cooking class that was fall~focused. I’ve already shared the Chocolate~Pumpkin Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream Frosting that I prepared in that class. I knew I wanted a seasonal soup and I found the Creamy Southwestern Pumpkin Soup, which I thought sounded delicious. I made it for Sweet Shark last week and we both thought it was really good, so into the cooking class menu it went.
Here’s the picture of the soup in the cookbook. By the way, all the photography in the book was taken by 2 members of DCMGA, non~professionals.
As a cooking instructor, I’m always tweaking recipes. I made a couple of changes to the recipe, not in the ingredients or basic directions, but just a few improvements (I thought) to clarify the directions.
Before making this or any soup, you should check out 5 Essential Tools for Making Soup.
Some of the Ingredients
This soup is ready, start to finish in about 1 hour. It can be made ahead, chilled and then reheated.
TIP #1: soups thickened when chilled; you may need to add more broth to dilute it to a pourable consistency.
TIP #2: this recipe calls for jalapeño, which isn’t very hot. If you want more heat, switch to a serrano or, if you are really brave, a scotch bonnet or habanero.
I used roasted and salted pumpkin seeds ~ also called pepitas ~ as my garnish. I thought the crunchy texture would be nice with the creaminess of the soup.
I served the soup in these bowls ~ a perfect 1 cup amount.
The soup says it yields 10 cups, but mine made about 12 cups.
Creamy Southwestern Pumpkin Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 large baking potato, peeled and medium dice
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 (15~ounce can) can pumpkin purée
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- sour cream, cilantro leaves, or pumpkin seeds ~ for garmish
- Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium~heat. Add the onion, jalapeño, and garlic. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring until soft. Do not let vegetables brown.
- Add chicken broth and next 4 ingredients; simmer, stirring often for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Do not allow to boil.
- Remove pot from heat and stir in pumpkin purée. Cool slightly for 10 minutes.
- Add the cilantro leaves to the potato mixture.
- Ladle the potato mixture in 3 batches into a blender and process on high until smooth. Scrape down sides on blender jar as needed. Pour each puréed batch into a 4 cup measuring cup.
- Return the soup to the Dutch oven. Stir in the milk and simmer for 10 minutes or until the soup is hot, stirring occasionally. Stir in lime juice.
- Taste and season with salted with kosher salt.
- Serve with chosen garnish.
Try this soup during the coming cooler months. I’ll be sharing some other recipes from A Year on the Plate during the during the next few months. If you like the Creamy Southwestern Pumpkin Soup, love cookbooks, want to have a regional cookbook from Texas and want to support a worthwhile cause, you can purchase the cookbook by clicking on the Dallas County Master Gardener Association site. That is the only place you can get the book. At $40, it’s a great deal and would make a wonderful gift for the food or garden lover on your Christmas list.