Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Soup for Halloween


‘Tis the season for pumpkins! Halloween is a much celebrated holiday in our house. Growing up, I would spend the months leading up to Halloween carefully planning my costume ... a joker playing card kept me coloring for weeks in preparation, R2D2 had my father wiring lights for my blinking white cardboard body (my dad’s white motorcycle helmet provided the perfect top!), and on several Halloweens I chose the classic witch.

Halloween has become a special anniversary, too - Bob and I had our first date on this day 25 years ago when we were undergrads together at UCLA. We went to see Fatal Attraction ... quite the first date movie! Walking back from the theater, Bob asked, “So how do you feel about commitment?” and I burst out laughing. He’s kept me happily laughing all these years.


So, with the arrival of Halloween and jack-o-lantern carving, there are many delicious ways to add pumpkins to your holiday celebration. And soup is always a perfect way in my opinion!

I’ve been playing around with this soup recipe for a few autumns. You can use freshly steamed pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin works just fine. Spiced with cardamom and coriander, the soup also has a slight kick from cayenne. Coconut milk makes it creamy, and a surprise ingredient is banana, which adds a bit of sweetness (and provides a terrific way to use those overripe bananas stashed in your freezer).


Perfect to ladle into bowls for your Halloween celebration or to begin your Thanksgiving feast, I enjoy this soup most when cuddled up on the couch with Bob, a warm cup in my hand to sip.

Pumpkin Soup
Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
A pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste
2 medium, very ripe bananas, peeled and chopped
2 cups organic, pure pumpkin puree (fresh or 1-15 ounce can)
1-13 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups unfiltered apple cider
Salt and pepper to taste
Toasted pumpkin seeds, garnish
Chives, garnish
Additional cayenne, garnish

In a large soup pot, warm the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and carrots and stir. Let cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the cardamom, coriander, turmeric and cayenne and stir. Let cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the bananas, pumpkin puree, coconut milk, broth and cider. Stir together and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds, snipped chives and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Can be made ahead and rewarmed gently before serving.

16 comments:

  1. Banana? That is interesting!! Happy Halloween and Happy Anniversary :)

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    1. Thank you, Alyssa!Happy Halloween to you - hope you have a warm, cozy evening.

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  2. Apple cider is another surprise ingredient in this recipe! What a conglomeration of all things fall! When Kevin goes away for his research, I usually make a big batch of pureed soup--my favorite, his...not so much. This is a great option for me the next time he goes away. Yum!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it, Brianne! I love pureed soups, too...so nice to fill a mug and sip. This one definitely evokes fall - some of my favorite flavors.

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  3. I don't think I've ever seen a soup recipe with banana before! Most intriguing. :) Pumpkin love!

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    1. Yes, lots of pumpkin love here! I'm excited for Thanksgiving and pumpkin dishes, both savory and sweet.

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  4. This sounds fabulous! I like the banana in there. Last night I made butternut squash soup with apple hoping it would add some sweetness, but it really just added "tart." Banana, though, now that's sweetness! =)

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    1. Thank you, Brooke! Mmm, squash and apple soup sounds divine. Maybe a sweeter variety of apple would work? If you try adding banana please let me know how it turns out.

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  5. Wow - what a creative recipe. And how I love the first date story. Terrific!

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    1. Thanks, Beth! We took the boys to the theater we went to in Westwood on our last visit to LA. Fun to relive the evening!

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  6. What a wonderful combination of flavors! I love the spices with the banana, and what a surprise to see both coconut milk and apple cider. I've got to try this!

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  7. Intrigued, may have to try this one LOL.

    Come check out The Monthly Blogger event over at The Spanish Wok, ALL bloggers are welcome. See here for details and current theme. You are also welcome to visit our FB page too here.

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    1. Thank you! I'll pop over to check it out.

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  8. Great, easy and tasty recipe. Froze half. my toddler loved as well! Oh I added 1\4 tspn of mixed spice just to add a bit of warmth. Will definitely make again

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    1. I'm delighted you made this soup! Thank you for letting me know. It's definitely the season now. I like your addition of extra spice, too. Happy fall to you!

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