This tasty pumpkin soup recipe is a variation of a soup recipe I make every fall, but this year I decided to add roasted pears to it to add a little extra sweetness. I always start my soup with a saute of onions and garlic in butter which lays a flavor base for the soup creating a full bodied, not too sweet soup.
I also always roast my fresh pumpkin first before using it to increase the flavor that develops through caramelization when vegetables are roasted. I also roasted the pears to add depth to their flavor too. This soup is blended smooth which creates a creamy texture that doesn't require the addition of heavy cream to thicken it. I use my hand immersion blender which works perfectly for jobs like this, but any blender or food processor will work. The amount of broth needed for the soup will depend on how much moisture is in your pumpkin, as well as how thick you prefer your soup to be. Just allow the soup to cool a bit before blending it to prevent boiling hot soup from flying around your kitchen. This soup would be a perfect choice for Thanksgiving or to begin any special fall dinner. The soup is best served warm and not too hot so you can taste the complexity of flavors and since the flavors seem to develop further the day after it is made, it is a great soup to make the day before you plan on serving it. Just allow the soup to cool, then refrigerate it until needed, and reheat gently adding a little additional broth if the soup seems too thick.
You can garnish this soup with a variety of different options such as a dollop of sour cream, a spoonful of diced pears and chopped roasted chestnuts sauteed in butter, some chopped fresh greens such as watercress, or with a sprinkling of roasted crisp pumpkin seeds as I used in the photo.
To Roast Pumpkin And Pears: Cut the pumpkin into thick slices, removing seeds and stringy loose flesh inside. Reserve seeds for roasting. Cut the pears in half, peel and core. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the pumpkin and pears on top. Bake in a preheated 375 degree F. oven until both the pears and pumpkin are fork tender and beginning to brown, about 25 minutes for the pears and 45 minutes for the pumpkin. Allow to cool and scoop out the pumpkin flesh keeping 4 cups for the soup and reserving rest for another use. Chop the pears coarsely.
In a heavy soup pot heat the butter and add the onions. Cook over medium low heat until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown.
Add the garlic and cook an additional couple of minutes.
Add the pumpkin and pears and about 4 cups of broth. Season with salt, pepper and cinnamon and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes.
Blend, then taste and adjust seasonings as needed, and adding additional broth if soup is too thick.
Serve soup warm with toasted pumpkin seeds as described below, or with your garnish of choice.
Optional Toasted Pumpkin Seeds: Scoop out the seeds from the stringy flesh and place in a sieve over running water. Rub the seeds gently to remove any clinging flesh. Pat dry. Toss the seeds with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast in a preheated 375 degree F. oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until the seeds are lightly browned and crispy. Cool.