Harvest Pumpkin Soup

15Oct09

PumpkinSoup_Bowl

There was a day, about two years ago, that I decided to scrap the leftovers I had brought to work for my lunch, and go out and get something warm instead. This was unusual, as I don’t like to spend money on lunch, but it must’ve been fate because I ended up at Au Bon Pain, getting the pumpkin soup, and my Autumns haven’t been the same since! Now I wait for fall to roll around for the Pumpkin Spice lattes at Starbucks, and the Harvest Pumpkin Soup at ABP. I’ve tried other pumpkin soups – at Whole Foods, even Wegmans, and of course several I’ve made at home, but nothing has compared. Not even close. Well, this fall I am working in a different town and *gasp* there is no ABP here! So I buckled down for a day of trying flavors and techniques, and didn’t quit until I developed this recipe for Au Bon Pain’s Harvest Pumpkin Soup (or at least my version of it!). It’s perfect. I love it. I hope you will too!

Harvest Pumpkin Soup (developed to mimic Au Bon Pain’s. serves 4)
~2-lb Sugar Pumpkin
~2-lb Kabocha Squash, or Buttercup Squash
S&P
4 Tbsp Butter (salted)
1 cup Sweet Onion, diced
1/2 cup Carrots, diced
1/3 cup Celery, diced
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsp Tomato Paste (concentrated)
1/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed
4 cups Vegetable Broth (I use the little squares that you mix with boiling water)
1 cup Half & Half

PumpkinSoup_pumpkins

That green one is the Buttercup squash. Kabocha squash looks and tastes similar. Preheat your oven to 400. Slice the pumpkin and squash from stem to bottom and remove seeds and pulp. Season with S&P and roast on a cookie sheet for 45 – 60 minutes, or until tender.

PumpkinSoup_ingredients

Ten minutes before the pumpkin and squash are done roasting, in a large stock pot, melt the butter. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute until the onions are soft and translucent. Then add the ginger, cinnamon, tomato paste, and brown sugar. Stir to combine heat over medium until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vegetable stock and bring the pot to a boil. When the pumpkin and squash are tender (pumpkin may be more so than the squash), scoop out all of the flesh and add it to the pot, along with the Hald & Half. Return everything to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out as much as you can of the vegetables and pumpkin and squash, and liquify it using a blender (or if you have an immersion blender, that would be perfect for this). Return the liquefied veggies to the pot. You don’t have to blend the entire pot – just however much you want to that you’re comfortable with the consistency of the soup. When everything is smooth and heated through, taste and add salt or cinnamon as needed. I added about a 1/2 Tbsp of salt and a dash or two more cinnamon. It was perfect.

Total time needed is around an hour or an hour + 15 minutes. Not bad! I will probably be making this again in a couple weeks. Seriously it’s so good I’ve been eating leftovers cold out of the fridge. I may or may not be hiding the rest from my boyfriend, to keep it all to myself… You’ve got to try this!

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32 Responses to “Harvest Pumpkin Soup”

  1. 1 katemotter

    I forgot to mention – I think that you could also steam the pumpkin and squash, if you cut it into smaller chunks (10-15 minutes?). That would make this a much faster recipe that could be accomplished on a weeknight, even!

  2. 2 caitlindentino

    I can’t wait to try this. My aunt and uncle grow Kabocha Squash, and she was just mentioning how great it is in soup – I have had hers, but never made it myself. Looks like this rainy weekend will be the perfect time. Thanks!

  3. 3 Carolyn

    Wow. I’ve been looking around foodgawker and keep seeing these yummy pumpkin soups. I love that yours has pumpkin and squash and neither from a can! The pumpkin seed recipe next that I’ve yet to look at looks like it might make a great accompaniment. Yum!

  4. 4 katemotter

    caitlin – that’s awesome! i looked around but couldn’t find any actual kabocha. hence the buttercup. very similar tho! i’d love to try fresh kabocha.

    carolyn – thanks! using fresh pumpkin and roasting it yourself changes the taste so much (for the better)! i hear theres a run on libby’s canned pumpkin this year anyway. so yeah, try it fresh! :)

  5. Great way to enjoy the pumpkins!

  6. this sounds so delicious and perfect for fall!

  7. 7 cat

    I just made this and it is absolutely delicious! thank you! The only substitution I made was to use fresh ginger.

  8. 8 Ann

    I’m so excited about finding your recipe and can’t wait to try it. I have been looking for YEARS for a recipe that tastes like ABP’s Harvest Pumpkin and nothing has come close. Thank you!

    • 9 Ann

      I finally made your recipe this weekend and it was FABULOUS! My only substitution was ginger puree and a dash of Allspice at the end (Au Bon’s recipe calls for clove).

  9. Hi Kate, I just wanted to let you know I posted an adjusted version of this recipe on my food blog, http://www.ourchicagofoodblog.com

    Love your blog!

  10. I, too, am a little too obsessed with ABP’s Harvest Pumpkin. I can’t wait to try out your recipe!

  11. 12 Joyce

    I hardly ever cook, That’s my hubby’s passion. I had the ABP pumpkin soup once and absolutely loved it. I would like to try this receipe and would love to hear from those that did and let me know how it compares. I’m not sure, but I thought I remembered the ABP soup having clove. Should I add it to this recipe and if so how much. Thanks

  12. 13 Bobbi

    I have never been to an Au Bon Pain as I live in the middle of Nowhere, Northern Canada. This soup was amazing though! Even though I just ate some for supper I can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Yum! and thank you for sharing!

  13. That is Great! Thank you so much.

  14. 15 G

    This soup is so good that I just licked the ladle clean. It’s by far the best pumpkin soup I’ve ever made. Thank you so, so much for sharing this recipe!

  15. 16 Sunny

    I am obsessed with ABP’s Harvest Pumpkin soup and cannot wait to make this!!

  16. 17 Shino Takahashi

    Just tried this recipe (accidentally forgetting to buy celery though). It came out so beautiful and its dead on target with ABP’s. So good I ran across the street with the fresh soup and shared it with my neighbors. Definitely will be making more of this! Thank you thank you thank you so much!

  17. When you take them for a ride, dogs will sit on the seat next to you. Cats have to have their own private basket, or they won’t go at all.

  18. I just made this – it is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. :)
    (PS – here in New Zealand, I used crown pumpkin and it was great)

  19. 20 karen

    I am trying this now OMg smells so good. And I have never had the Buttercup Squash before and think that is great alone. It may be replacing my butternut squash on thanksgiving

  20. Hey exceptional blog! Does running a blog such as this take
    a large amount of work? I have virtually no understanding of programming but I was hoping to
    start my own blog in the near future. Anyway, if you have any ideas
    or tips for new blog owners please share. I know this is off topic nevertheless I just needed to ask.
    Appreciate it!

  21. 22 Debbie

    This soup is spot-on!! Thanks for sharing!!

  22. Dead on to Au bon pain!!! I also used fresh ginger as someone else mentiones and have to say it was delicious!
    I found your blog by googling Harvest Pumpkin soup like ABP Thats how obsessed witht he soup I was well I tried others but your verison was dead on and no one has left an ounce on the plate since I started serving it! Thanks for ending my search it is now a staple in the fall in my home!

  23. Well done Kate! This was excellent and just like the Au Bon Pain version. Thank you for ending my search and bringing a little taste of home to Bogota Colombia, where we have TONS of kabocha.


  1. 1 Weekend Foodie Links: Pumpkin : Blisstree - Family, Health, Home and Lifestyles
  2. 2 Soup is preferred over work « Sarah In Seattle
  3. 3 hanouni
  4. 4 pumpkinish | whollykao
  5. 5 scoop o’soup | whollykao
  6. 6 scoop o’ (pumpkin) soup | whollykao
  7. 7 the best pumpkin pie | whollykao
  8. 8 Divine adaptable squash soup | Ambreen Ali

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