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The search for the best pumpkin soup of them all is over!

I know it’s entirely possible that you hadn’t started searching yet. But know that, should you ever start a search for the best pumpkin soup, you need to look no further. There simply is no better pumpkin soup on Earth than this one!

 

 

Have you ever noticed that in every family’s lore there seems to be a piece about how Granny always used to say… ? I have decided that, should I ever have children who have my grandchildren and send them over to their old granny every once in a while, my addition to our family lore will be:

If you’ve prepared a savory dish and your fingers don’t smell of garlic, you’ve done something wrong!

I know, I’ll have to smooth out the wording a bit, but the message is clear, isn’t it? I am a strong believer in all things garlic!

Garlic is really good for you. In addition to lowering your blood pressure, it is said to be nature’s antibiotic.

And health benefits aside, garlic makes everything (savory) taste better! Everything!

I can be abnoxiously pitying when somebody tells me they don’t like garlic. But I just think they’re missing out on really exceptionally good food!

Having said that, this pumpkin soup is not as garlicky as you’d expect; in fact, if you didn’t know it, you’d be hard pressed to identify that secret ingredient that makes it taste this exquisite.

And it’s a cinch to make, too! No roasting of the pumpkin required, everything cooks in the same pot, and you don’t even have to chop up the garlic if you don’t want to.

 

Hey, how about this for my Granny-motto:

Garlic or bust!

Too ambiguous? Okay, I get it. Moving on.

 

Well, what are you still sitting there for? See if you can’t get your hands on a pumpkin (or two), then whip out your biggest pot and get to cookin’ a double batch of this soup – you’ll want leftovers to happen! They will tide you over the long winter, fall, and summer months until pumpkins are in season again.

Or at least until next week.

 

 

Now I know that there are pumpkin soup purists out there who won’t have a single thickening agent, most of all not potatoes, in their pumpkin soup! If you are one of them, just leave the potatoes out of the soup. It’s as easy as that. I find, however, that you won’t get that certain scrumptious creaminess in a soup without potatoes. But then I’m not a pumpkin soup purist.

Pumpkin Soup

should serve 4

1 Tbsp olive oil

three medium potatoes (about 2 cups when diced)

1 onion (I used red this time, but yellow is even better)

4 bulbs of Chinese garlic (aka garlic chives), peeled and quartered, stems removed; or 5 cloves of regular garlic, peeled

1 liter (=1 quart) low sodium vegetable broth (or 1 liter water and veggie bouillon cubes)

1 large (~2 kg) hokkaido pumpkin (you can use any ol’ kind of pumpkin, of course. I just prefer hokkaido because you don’t have to peel it)

200 grams heavy cream (or cream cheese, or sour cream)

some additional broth, water, or milk for thinning the soup

salt, pepper, nutmeg

a pat of butter

 

 

Peel the outer layers off the onion, remove the stem, and cut it into eigths.

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over low heat and add the onions and the garlic.

 

 

While those are slowly sautéeing, peel the potatoes and cut them into roughly 1 inch cubes.

I find it impossible to actually cut a round food item into cubes, so I normally end up with little potato pyramids. If you manage to cut a potato into cubes, you’re my new hero. Otherwise, simply make sure to make the pieces roughly uniform in size.

 

 

Add the potatoes and the broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until the potatoes are about 10 minutes away from being soft.

This should take about as long as it takes you to cut any brown or dodgy bits off the pumpkin’s outer skin (or peel it, if it’s not hokkaido), core it, and chop it up into roughly 1 inch pumpkin pyramids (see note above).

 

 

Add the pumpkin to the pot, cover with a lid and simmer on for 10 minutes until the pumpkin is soft as well.

Turn off the heat, puree the soup with an immersion blender and stir in the cream until fully incorporated. (You can also puree the soup in batches in a blender.)

If the soup is too thick, add some liquid a little at a time until you’ve reached the consistency you want.

Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste and add a pat of butter to round out the flavor.

 

 

Suggestions, substitutions, variations:

  • If you plan on freezing or canning batches of this soup for an extended period of time, I recommend preparing it without the dairy for now. Simply add the cream and butter when you re-heat it.
  • If you’re feeling fancy (or just like curried pumpkin soups), you can add some curry powder to the soup.
  • You could also go classical and sprinkle a little pumpkin seed oil and toasted pumpkin seeds over each serving.
  • I have added a dash of truffle oil and chives to my most recent helping of this soup, which ads a whole other dimension of heavenliness.
  • If you are of the carnivorous persuasion, you may sprinkle each serving with some crispy bacon bits.
  • You can experiment a bit with substituting some herbed soft cheese (goat’s cheese perhaps? Or simply herbed cream cheese) for the cream.

 

 

Oh!

How about

Can’t smell garlic on your finger? Then your dish can’t be a winner!

😀

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