#OrangeOctober Pumpkin Soup

In honor of #OrangeOctober and Halloween, I made pumpkin soup this weekend.  I first made pumpkin soup a few years ago after not getting around to carving my rather large pumpkin.  I later learned that it is much easier (and safer) to cut into and clean out a pumpkin after roasting it in the oven.

Here’s my recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 pumpkin, roasted and gutted
  • 32 oz. carton of chicken stock
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped and sautéed
  • 3 celery stalks chopped and sautéed
  • 1 potato cut into large chunks
  • Cumin
  • Curry powder
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt

Preparation and Cooking

  • Pumpkin.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Wash the pumpkin, and place it in the oven on a baking sheet or foil for approximately an hour and 10 minutes.  You may have to cook it longer depending on how large your pumpkin is.  I used a small pumpkin this time and actually think the soup comes out better using a larger pumpkin.  After removing the pumpkin from the oven, wait at least 10 minutes for it to cool before cutting it in half and removing the seeds and guts.

  • Other vegetables.  While the pumpkin is cooling, chop the onions and celery and cut the potato into large chunks.  You can peel the potato if you wish, but it works either way.  Sauté the onions in olive oil on low heat in a large pot.  Once the onions are almost brown, add the celery and sauté for 5 minutes or so.
  • Soup.  Pour the entire carton of chicken stock into the pot over the onions and celery.  Add the cooked pumpkin and potato chunks.  Let everything boil until the potatoes are tender.  Place everything in a food processor and purée until everything is blended.  Then add the cumin, curry powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and sea salt to taste.  I never measure the spices, so have no idea how much I end up putting in.  However, I ended up sprinkling extra cumin on when I was ready to eat it.

© Sarah Milstein 2014

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Homemade-ish Chicken Soup

Making chicken soup from “scratch” isn’t so hard when you start with two cartons of chicken soup.  So maybe this isn’t the cheapest way to make it (or technically “homemade”), but it’s much faster than starting with a whole chicken, and guaranteed to come out tasty.

Ingredients

  • 2 – 32 oz. cartons of low sodium Swanson’s Chicken Soup (or other chicken stock you like)
  • 4 chicken thighs with skin
  • 2-3 carrots peeled, cut in large chunks
  • 3-4 stalks of celery, cut into 2 inch chunks including greens at the end of the stalks
  • 10 sprigs of Italian parsley coarsely chopped
  • Sea salt to taste

Cooking.  Pour both cartons of chicken soup into a large pot.  Wash the chicken thighs and place them in the broth and bring to a slow boil.  Let the chicken cook for at least 30 minutes.  Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove it and let it cool.  Depending on how much the soup has boiled down, you may need to add several cups of water.  Add the carrots, celery, and parsley to the broth and continue to cook on medium heat.  After the chicken has cooled enough to handle, pull the chicken off the bone and add some (or all) of the chicken back to the soup.  (I opted to discard the skins and bones.)  We added matzo balls at the end (which my mom made separately).  But you could also add rice, noodles, or another grain if you want.

Voilà, homemade-ish chicken soup!

© Sarah Milstein 2014