Keeping with the Fall theme, we present to you a delicious pumpkin soup with a little Caribbean flair that is absolutely delicious. Looks pretty good, too.
We don’t eat a lot of pumpkin. I really can’t explain why because we both like pumpkin. Although pumpkin can be somewhat of a pain to prepare with the cutting off the top, halving it and seeding it, it’s really not all that bad (directions here). It freezes well so you can have it throughout the year. You can also take your aggressions out on the pumpkin with a sharp knife. Just be careful not to cut off your hand in the process. :o Once again, I digress. Ahem…pumpkin is also pretty tasty and versatile. You can use it in desserts, like pumpkin pie, pumpkin creme brûlée, pumpkin ice cream, etc. You can also make pumpkin tea bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies. Then there are various pumpkin sauces that you can use with a variety of game, pork and poultry. Lastly, there is pumpkin soup. Everyone needs a good pumpkin soup for the fall. In many instances, you can substitute various winter squash for the pumpkin and get a similarly flavored soup. For instance, in this dish, you could easily substitute butternut squash for the pumpkin. The soup might be a little sweeter but it will be good nonetheless. It is a creamy, savory soup with a touch of heat and nice aromatic spice from the jerk seasoning. The sour cream adds just a touch of tang and smoothness. The pepitas add a little nuttiness and crunch while the cilantro adds a floral element. All-in-all, it’s a great Fall/Winter soup you owe it to yourself to try, especially while pumpkins are in season. This is what we did.
- 1 small sugar pumpkin, roasted, skinned and cubed
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves (1/2 Tbsp dried)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp Jamaican Jerk Dry Seasoning*
- 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- sour cream
- toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for garnish
- cilantro for garnish
As always, first things first, roast and peel the pumpkin (directions here).
While the pumpkin is roasting, add olive oil to a soup pot over medium-high heat and add the chopped onion.
Sweat the onions until they become translucent. Then add the fresh thyme
Now, the jerk seasoning
and then the garlic.
Cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes and then add the chicken stock.
Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a very, very low simmer until the pumpkin is finished roasting.** This will allow the flavors to develop fully in the broth/base for your soup.***
When the pumpkin has roasted, cooled, been skinned and cubed, add it to the pot.
Allow the pumpkin and broth to simmer over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and put in a blender.
Puree to a creamy, smooth consistency
Now, pour the puree back into the pot over medium heat
Now, add the lime juice
and heavy cream.
Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent it from scorching to the bottom (remember this is a puree), for approximately 8 – 10 minutes to heat through. Remove from heat and ladle into bowls.
Add a dollop of sour cream
and a sprinkle of toasted pepitas.
Serve & Enjoy.
NOTES: * There are various pre made Jamaican Jerk seasoning blends commercially available. When we were in the Caribbean last, we purchased some local sensing mixes under the label “Spicy Caribe.” It has a pretty darn good jerk dry spice blend we actually like a lot. Of course, it is now gone. So, if you want to make your own, the following is a very tasty jerk dry seasoning blend.
- 2 Tbsp ground coriander
- 2 Tbsp ground ginger
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp dried chives
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp ground thyme
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
Mix everything together and store in a jar. It will keep on the shelf for 90 – 120 days. If you want more heat, simply add more cayenne or find some habanero powder. Be gentle, however, and don’t set your family or guest afire.
** Remember, the pumpkin is going to roast for 30-40 minutes and will then need to cool sufficiently for you to peel it and cube it so you want a very low simmer. Do NOT reduce the broth/base. If it does, add enough water to bring it back to its original volume otherwise you will have a very thick, viscous soup. Now, if you are the mind that puree soups are meant to be more akin to vegetable purees then by all means allow it to reduce. Personally, I believe a vegetable puree soup, such as this, is meant to be a little more viscous than a good cream soup or a veloute. It is meant to play on your tongue with a smooth, luxurious mouthfeel while tantalizing your tastebuds with all the lovely flavors accompanied by the little crunch of the pepitas. All of this will get lost if the soup is more like a vegetable puree. The choice, of course, is yours.
*** If you have pumpkin puree in your freezer and are using it instead, allow the base to simmer for approximately 30 minutes.