Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Soup with Smoked Paprika

With the chilly temperatures we had last night, it seems that fall is quickly on its way out, and winter's lurking just around the corner. We haven't had our first frost yet, but I'm expecting it any day now. These chilly days and nights make me long for a nice, hot bowl of soup. There's something so comforting about making soup - all that chopping and stirring, the wonderful smell of vegetables sauteing and broth bubbling, the anticipation of scooping up that first hot spoonful and blowing on it to cool it just a bit, then the wonderful taste of all those ingredients blending together -- mmm, makes me want to go get a bowlful right now!

I made a batch of this Pumpkin Soup this evening, and thought some of you might enjoy trying the recipe. The original came from Cooking Light magazine, but I've made a few modifications over the years. Note that you absolutely must use smoked paprika. It adds a delicious smoky flavor to the soup, and without it, it's rather bland.

Pumpkin Soup with Smoked Paprika and Pepitas
1 T. olive oil
3 1/2 C. chopped yellow bell pepper (about 3 large)
1 1/2 C. chopped carrot (about 3-4 medium)
1 C. chopped onion (about 1 large)
1/2 tsp. Spanish smoked paprika 
2 garlic cloves, chopped
5 C. chicken broth, divided
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels), toasted
1 T. chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, carrot, and onion. Cook 10 minutes or until almost tender, stirring occasionally. Add paprika and garlic; sauté 1 minute.

Add 3 cups broth, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Place one-third of vegetable mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid spills). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining vegetable mixture.

Return pureed vegetable mixture to Dutch oven. Stir in remaining 2 cups broth and pumpkin.

Cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.

Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 7 bowls; top each serving with about 1 teaspoon pumpkin seeds and about 1/2 teaspoon parsley. Serve immediately.

Recipe notes:
- Rather than pureeing the soup in a regular blender, I use an immersion blender and puree it right in the Dutch oven. It's much easier and safer.
- I sometimes serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream and some snipped chives.
- The original recipe didn't call for any added salt, but I think it needs some, so I usually add about 3/4 teaspoon. You can adjust to taste.


  1. Hey Leslie
    Made this soup for dinner last nite. Luved it, super yummy!

  2. Hi CJ,
    I'm so glad to hear you liked it. I love that hint of a smokey flavor in it.

  3. Perfect timing, starting to get chilly! I'll have to try this next week!


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