Spicy Pumpkin Leek Soup
When we think of pumpkin, we usually think of autumn sweets — like pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin bread, or pumpkin muffins — and those are happy thoughts! But pumpkin’s earthy flavor is wonderful in savory dishes too. In this velvety soup, pumpkin is simmered with leeks, apples, maple syrup and herbs. And instead of typical pumpkin pie spices, cumin and cayenne pepper lend a smoky, spicy flavor. I use canned pumpkin to make life easy, but feel free to roast and purée a fresh pumpkin if you’d like.
Before starting, it’s important to wash the leeks well — they are notoriously dirty. To clean, cut off the dark green portions and slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Run under water, pulling the layers apart to wash off any dirt, sand, and grit stuck between the layers.
Thinly slice the leeks.
Melt the butter in a soup pot, then add the leeks.
Cook until the leeks are softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the pumpkin purée, apples, herbs, salt, and spices.
As well as the chicken broth, then bring to a boil.
Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add the cream and, using a stick blender (or regular blender), purée until smooth.
Ladle the pumpkin soup into bowls and top with a swirl of cream and more thyme.
Spicy Pumpkin Leek Soup
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2.5 pounds leeks, white and light green parts only, washed well and thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 (15-oz) can pumpkin purée
- 1 apple, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh sage
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, plus more for garnish
- Melt the butter in medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin, apple, broth, maple syrup, salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, thyme and sage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes more.
- Add the heavy cream. Use a stick blender to purée the soup until completely smooth. (Alternatively, cool the soup slightly and use a blender to purée in batches. Be sure to remove the center knob on the blender and cover with a dishtowel to avoid splatters.) Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a swirl of cream (see note below) and fresh thyme leaves, if desired.
- Note: To add a swirl of cream that floats on top of the soup, whip a few tablespoons of cream with a whisk until ever so slightly thickened. Then use a teaspoon to drizzle and swirl the cream over the soup.
- Per serving (6 servings)
- Calories: 331
- Fat: 12 g
- Saturated fat: 7 g
- Carbohydrates: 53 g
- Sugar: 24 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Protein: 9 g
- Sodium: 702 mg
- Cholesterol: 27 mg
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