Harvest Pumpkin Soup
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
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
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.
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!
Filed under: supper, veggie | 31 Comments