Squash and pumpkin soups are a mainstay in the fall, and for good reason. They’re both gorgeous and delicious. This soup is both quick and easy to make. The garnishes of whipped cream with sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds add something special.
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tbsp plus 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp plus 1/2 c maple syrup
- 1/2 c shelled pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 3 cans pumpkin puree (each 32 oz)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pint heavy cream (if you’re using a whipped cream dispenser) or 1 c if you’re going to whip it by hand
- In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, paprika, the 1/4 tsp cayenne and 1/4 tsp of salt.
- In a frypan over medium-high heat, toast the pumpkin seeds until lightly brown (about 2 minutes). Remove them to a small bowl and set aside. Return the pan to the burner and melt 1/2 tbsp of the butter with 1 tbsp of the maple syrup and a splash of water. Bring to a boil, swirling the pan to blend. Return the pumpkin seeds, stir to coat and cook until the liquid is almost evaporated (1 to 2 minutes). Transfer to the bowl with the spice mixture and toss to coat the pumpkin seeds evenly. Transfer to a piece of parchment paper, spread in a single layer and set aside to cool.
- In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium heat, melt the remaining 3 tbsp butter. Add the onion and celery and sauté until softened and beginning to brown (about 7 minutes). Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant (about a minute). Add the wine, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cook until the wine is reduced to 1/4 cup (about 2 minutes). Add the broth and pumpkin, stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer gently to blend the flavours (about 10 minutes).
- Add the remaining 1/2 c of maple syrup, a pinch of cayenne and the remaining 2 tsp salt to the pot, and season with black pepper. Stir to mix, cover and simmer to blend the flavours (another 10 minutes).
- Meanwhile, whip the cream. Either pour it into a bowl and beat with a whisk or electric mixer on medium-high speed until it holds soft peaks or use a whipped-cream dispenser.
- Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings. Ladle into warmed bowls, top each serving with a dollop of cream, garnish with the spiced pumpkin seeds and serve immediately.
- The whipped cream dispenser makes life a whole lot easier as you have freshly whipped cream available in small quantities without the mess of bowl and beaters. You simply pour a pint of whipping cream into the dispenser, add a bit of sugar, put the top on securely, and then shake vigorously to dissolve the sugar. Using the plastic holder that comes with the dispenser, press the NO2 cylinder into place and transfer the gas into the dispenser. Shake again, vigorously. Then tip the dispenser over the sink and test the whipped cream for firmness. It helps to hold the dispenser completely upright in the upside down position. Our kids love this thing, and are never happier than when a filled container appears in the fridge. The possibilities are endless – ice cream sundaes, hot chocolate with whipped cream topping, and I shudder to think, when they were younger – likely straight into the mouth…
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 40
- Serving Size: 10
Whipped cream dispensers are available at Amazon.com or at speciality kitchen stores like Williams Sonoma.