Sunday, January 15, 2012

Recipe: QT's Squashy Butternut Pumpkin Soup

As promised, I am posting the recipe for My Very Own / I-Made-it-Up-All-By-Myself Soup Recipe.

It came out "pretty darn good" I think. I wouldn't call it the "Absolute Bestest Soup in the Whole Wide World," but it was quite tasty - and it cleared out my fridge and countertop! Win-Win!!!

Look at me, gettin' all "Martha Stewart" with the swirly cream and parsley sprig!
(The roasted, salted pumpkin seeds were a very tasty addition!)

QT's Squashy Butternut Pumpkin Soup

  • Olive oil
  • 2 Tbs golden brown sugar
  • 1 small butternut squash (I forgot to weigh it!)
  • 1 small pie-pumpkin (appx 2.5 lbs) (I suspect canned pumpkin would work, too)
  • 4-5 shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 regular onion, chopped (since I had leftovers, I put 'em in!)
  • 3 stalks of chopped celery (mine was kinda squishy - doesn't matter!)
  • 6 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 6 small red potatoes
  • 2 cans (@ 14 oz) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2+ tsp Hungarian-style sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp grated (dried/powdered) ginger
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • Nutmeg (a little goes a long way)
  • 1 cup Crema Casera, Creme Fraiche or Heavy Cream
  • Salt & white pepper, to taste


  1. Peel, de-seed and dice the squash (instructions here) and pumpkin (not as easy!) into 1/2" chunks. This is a very labor-intensive (and boring) process so call a friend and chat on the phone while you're doing it - otherwise, you'll want to give up! If you wanted to be lazy, you could probably substitute canned pumpkin (Cheater!) - but I couldn't tell you how much. When it was all said and done, I ended up with 6 cups of pumpkin+squash cubes.
  2. Chop the shallots, onions, celery and carrots
  3. Peel and chop the potatoes into 1" chunks
  4. Heat some olive oil in a large, heavy pan. Add the onions, celery and carrots and saute on medium-low heat 'til the onions start to turn limp and translucent. Turn the heat to low and add sugar and a sprinkling of salt. Let 'em "sweat" for appx 5-10 mins.
  5. Turn the heat back up to medium and add the squash/pumpkin chunks, then the potatoes. Stir 'em around and saute for maybe 5 mins 'til they begin to soften
  6. Add 2 cans of (chicken or vegetable) broth. Turn heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then turn down to low and simmer 'til the carrots/squash/pumpkin/potatoes get all mushy. (Looks like the carrots are taking the longest...). Might take a couple-three hours.
  7. After everything gets mushy, grab your immersion blender (or let it cool and pour it into a blender/food processor, in small batches). Puree 'til thick and smooth.
  8. Season with sweet paprika, salt & pepper + nutmeg and tarragon, to taste.
  9. Add cream, re-heat and serve.
  10. Garnish with a swirl of thick cream and a sprig of fresh parsley - or get all crazy and sprinkle some toasted pumpkin seeds on top.

I like how the slow-cooking of the onions brings out a hint of sweetness (of course, the addition of brown sugar doesn't hurt!). And the pumpkin is also naturally sweet. This seems like it should be a fairly light (yet still "filling") soup.

Post-Script: Originally, I thought it might make a good "cold" soup. So I tried it, cold, the next day. I suppose, if it were a bit thinner, it might be okay. OTOH, I've never been much of a "cold soup person" (if there is such a thing!), so I'm just leaning toward "It's better, served hot!"

(Just don't forget the pumpkin seeds! They really are a wonderful addition!)

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