If you’re anything like me, you stock up on tons and tons of pumpkin puree before the holiday season. I’m always afraid that the store is going to run out and that I will be stuck, pumpkin-less and destitute, on Thanksgiving or an equally important holiday or occasion. It happened to me one year when I was living in Arizona. I drove my car (which is still weird to think about now that I live in New York. Driving? Forget about it) to the big grocery store down the street and could not find the pumpkin puree anywhere. I started to panic a bit, but figured that maybe there was a big, beautiful pumpkin display that I had missed somewhere in the store; surely one of the helpful Safeway employees would be able to point me in the right direction. I walked up to one, inquired as to where they may have put their canned pumpkin, and was met with a look that said, “Duh, it’s with all the other canned stuff.” I insisted that it was not, so the grocery store clerk begrudgingly walked over with me to the appropriate aisle to show me how dumb I was for not being able to find the pumpkin, which was surely next to the canned cranberry and green beans and all of the other Thanksgiving fixin’s. However, when we got there, the clerk was aghast. She pulled out her walkie-talkie and started to investigate The Case of the Missing Pumpkin Puree. After what seemed like ages, but was, in reality, probably only about 10 minutes, I was told that they had never received a canned pumpkin shipment. Egads! I was shocked. I ended up driving all around Mesa trying to find a store with pumpkin. I tried everywhere: Basha’s, Sprouts, Fry’s…there was no pumpkin to be found. Thus I became aware of how delicate pumpkin crops can be, and so after Hurricane Irene this year, when the frenzy in New York City had passed, the first (okay, maybe the third or fourth) thing I did was stock up on way too much pumpkin puree. I think I still have about eight cans in my cupboard. I may have spent way too much money on canned pumpkin this year, but I’d be damned if I wound up sans pumpkin during the holiday baking season.
I know that you are probably still recovering from my harrowing pumpkin escapades, so let me give you something warm and soothing to calm you down…may I suggest a Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Shallots? I definitely need to rid myself of all the extra pumpkin in my fridge and cupboard, so I thought, why not a soup? I love sweet potato soup, so why wouldn’t I love pumpkin soup? The flavors are bold, but the soup is comforting and simple. The crispy shallots on top and in the soup add a nice punch, as well as a bit of texture. I loved dipping my bread in this soup, and it only gets better the next day! I used my Knorr Homestyle Stock in this recipe, and you can read more about my partnership with Knorr here, as well as check out all of the other recipes that I have created for them this year.
If you like a smoother soup, you can puree it with an immersion blender or food processor (but it isn’t completely necessary). If you also want to, you can add a dollop of creme fraiche, for creaminess, but you can keep the soup vegan by not doing this.
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 container Knorr Homestyle Stock + 1½ to 2 cups of water (or just 1½ to 2 cups chicken stock)
- 1½ cups pure pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or rosemary, minced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon creme fraiche or sour cream (optional)
- In your soup pot, heat your olive oil over medium heat and add in your thinly sliced shallots. Cook, stirring often, until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the crispy shallots to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, and add your Knorr Homestyle Stock or chicken stock to the pot, along with your pumpkin puree, thyme or rosemary, salt, pepper, ginger, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine and bring to a boil. Once boiling, you can puree the soup, if you like, with an immersion blender or a food processor, for a smoother texture, but it is not necessary. Whisk in the creme fraiche or sour cream, if you are using it.
- Taste your soup and add more salt or pepper as necessary. Spoon into your bowls and top with a few crispy shallots. Serve with a side of crusty bread and enjoy.