Author Notes: I started making this several years ago - one night I wanted, very specifically, butternut squash manicotti in a tomato cream sauce. But I was home and did not want to go to the store - so I did some rooting around in what we had and came up with a substitute - and this soup was born. Other than some fresh basil (which we have around about 99% of the time) this is essentially a pantry soup. If you have some sort of pesto frozen and no fresh basil, you could use that, if it saves you a trip to the store. —aargersi
Serves 6-8 (that's a lie, i can eat a whole lot of this just myself)
- 8 ounces orechiette (app 2 cups) (or other small dry pasta)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 diced yellow onion (about 2 cups)
- 1 - 15 ounces can of pumpkin (NOT the spiced sweetened kind!)
- 1 - 28 ounces fire roasted tomatoes (I buy the whole ones and squash them up by hand - I like the ragged texture plus it's fun - but if you don't like that, buy diced)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup cream or half-n-half
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- salt and pepper
- parmesan to serve - I am not saying how much because the amount I use might be a little embarassing)
- Cook your orechiette according to the directions, except cut 2 minutes off of the shortest time called for on the package - you want them to finish in the soup and soak up flavor.
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions and tsp of salt and cook over medium heat until the onions are going clear.
- Add the pumpkin and cook for several more minutes to cook the raw off the pumpkin - I have my nose in that pot through the whole process to make sure it all smells inviting and delicious and un-raw
- Smash the tomatoes in by hand and add the liquid as well if they are whole or dump the can in if you got diced. Cook all of that together for several more minutes. Add the stock and the cream. Taste for salt and pepper. Add some if you like.
- Add in the pasta and simmer until the pasta is cooked how you like it. Stir in the basil right before serving, and top each bowl with your favorite amount of parmesan, unless that means using ALL of it and not sharing. That's all. Eat!
- *** A note on leftovers if you have any - this will thicken up quite a lot overnight so you may want to reheat it with some additional broth or a little water ***
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Noodle Soups