Pumpkin Spicy Soup

In the U.S., “Pumpkin Spice” is all the rage. Americans can’t seem to get enough of Pumpkin Spice foods. But honestly, pumpkin needs the spice, because pumpkin, on it’s own, is pretty bland. It does well with a healthy dose of spice, because there isn’t much going on there without it.

To save time, I used roasted garlic from an olive bar at my local grocer. You can also make your own roasted garlic from scratch. This soup can easily be made oil-free. Just make sure your roasted garlic is not packed in oil or made with oil, and you are good to go!

If you like an even spicier soup, add a jalapeño in with the sliced red onion and shallot. Let it roast in the oven, remove the stem, and add it to the blender with the onion and shallot. Incorporating the jalapeño will increase the heat of the soup quite a bit. For a variation on the recipe, substitute 2 cups of lite coconut milk for the water, and create a creamier soup.

I use a very large high speed blender to make this recipe. I can see where an immersion blender would make this recipe even easier. If you have a smaller blender, it will make it more challenging, but it can still be done. You’ll just need to blend in smaller batches. If you find the consistency of the soup to be a little thick, add some additional water or broth—just make sure to taste and adjust the seasonings!

Even though this soup is easy to assemble, it still needs time to develop the flavor (a minimum of 50 minutes simmering all together over low heat). It is absolutely worth it. I hope you find this Latin American-inspired soup is a perfect addition to your fall rotation.

Pumpkin Spicy Soup

4 cups broth (fake chicken or vegetable)

2-3 guajillo chiles , seeds and stems removed

10 cloves of roasted garlic (store bought or homemade)

1 Tbsp roasted garlic tomato paste OR 1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 ½ tsp ground coriander

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp onion powder

1 large red onion, cut into thick slices

1 shallot, cut into thick slices

1 cup sweet potato, peeled and cubed

2 cups water, divided

1 29 ounce can of pumpkin puree

1 bay leaf

2-3 Tbsp lime juice

Salt, to taste

Slices of jalapeno, to top – optional

1. Bring 4 cups of broth to a boil, and then, add it to a large, high speed blender (I put the broth in a microwave for four and a half minutes, and it did the trick!). Add the guajillo chiles, roasted garlic cloves, tomato paste, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and onion powder. Set the blender aside, so the chiles can soften.

2. Preheat the oven to BROIL. Line a cookie sheet with non-stick aluminum foil, and then, lay the onion and shallot slices across the top of it. Broil in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the onions and shallots are charred on top. Remove from the oven, add to the blender. Blend everything in the blender until smooth. Pour half of the contents of the blender into a large, heavy pot.

3. In the large heavy pot, add 1 cup of water and the sweet potato. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft. Add the sweet potato, pumpkin puree and 1 additional cup of water to the blender. Blend until well incorporated. Pour everything back into the large heavy pot, and add the bay leaf. If soup is thicker than you prefer, add more broth or water. Bring the pot to a boil, and then, turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and simmer for 50 minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the lime juice. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed (more spices? more lime? Salt?). Serve.

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