Shorter days, chilly air, and holidays looming have us dreaming of hot soup aromas wafting through the house. It’s always a good idea to keep a few tried and true soup recipes handy as it’s the ultimate body warmer, cozy inducer and crowd-friendly meal. We are partial to pumpkin as a can’t-fail ingredient, it screams fall yet is versatile enough to extend beyond the season. This soup recipe has the delightful crunch of pepitas to counterbalance the creamy pumpkin base.
1 7-pound pie pumpkin or winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 18 cups)
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon, divided 4 tablespoons
chopped fresh sage, divided
4 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme , divided
2 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon ground pepper plus a pinch, divided
⅔ cup dry white wine
¾ cup pepitas
3 tablespoons maple syrup
8 cups low-sodium "no-chicken" broth
1 cup water
Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 450 degrees F. Coat 2 large rimmed baking sheets with a high-heat oil or parchment paper.
Toss pumpkin (or squash) and onions with 1/3 cup oil, 3 tablespoons each sage and thyme and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a very large bowl (you may need to do this in 2 batches). Divide between the prepared baking sheets. Roast, stirring once halfway and switching the pans from top to bottom and back to front, until lightly browned and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately add 1/3 cup wine to each pan, scraping up any browned bits.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add pepitas, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the remaining pinch of pepper; cook, stirring, until toasted, 2 to 4 minutes. Add maple syrup and cook, stirring, until well coated and lightly caramelized, 1 to 3 minutes more. Spread on a parchment-lined plate to cool. Step 4 Transfer the vegetables and any accumulated juices to a large stockpot and add broth and water. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon each sage and thyme and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Serve the soup topped with the glazed pepitas. Tips To make ahead: Refrigerate soup for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Store pepitas at room temperature for up to 3 days. Tip: Not to be confused with those used for jack-o'-lanterns, pie pumpkins (also known as sugar pumpkins) have a sweet flavor and smooth texture when cooked and pureed. Look for ones between 4 and 8 pounds.
Nutrition Facts Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups soup & 1 tablespoon pepitas Per Serving: 194 calories; protein 4.3g; carbohydrates 19.5g; dietary fiber 1.9g; sugars 9.4g; fat 11.4g; saturated fat 1.8g; vitamin c 18.6mg; folate 31.9 mg; calcium 60.8mg; iron 2.3mg; magnesium 28mg; potassium 648.6mg; sodium 475.3mg; added sugar 3g. Exchanges: 2 fat, 1/2 starch, 1/2 vegetable