>Perfect for Fall: Pumpkin Soup with Caramelized Onions and Brown Butter Drizzle

As soon as the leaves start falling, my craving kicks in. I want soup, big bowls of rich, guilt-free vegetable soup. Two years ago, when I was struggling to rid myself of the Juliette baby weight, daily lunches of roasted butternut squash soup were my diet solution. But this weekend, surrounded by gorgeous orange pumpkins still on the vine at a nearby farm, I started craving something different.

I’ve never been a big fan of pumpkin. In France, the “potiron” is a more exotic vegetable, not nearly as ubiquitous as it is here. Year after year, at Thanksgiving, I decline all offers of rust colored pumpkin pie. But inspired by my trip to the pumpkin patch and my new residence in America’s heartland, I decided to give cooking with pumpkins a try.
Juliette and I had our first bowls of warm golden pumpkin soup for lunch today. We both licked our bowls clean. I accentuated the sweetness of the pumpkin with some caramelized onions in the soup, and drizzled some nutty brown butter on top to contrast. Four hours later, I still feel all warm inside, suffused with all that rich pumpkin goodness. That pumpkin soup is the perfect antidote to the biting chill of the wind that is bringing all those leaves tumbling down.
Pumpkin Soup with Caramelized Onions and Brown Butter Drizzle
1 medium pumpkin (I used a regular cooking pumpkin I bought at Whole Foods. I would love to experiment with some of the more exotic varieties I saw at the farm).
1 large yellow onion, chopped
8 cups of chicken stock
8 tablespoons of butter (3 for onions and 5 for drizzle)
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit.
  2. Saw your pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds and most of the stringy pulp and discard.
  3. Pour 1 cup of chicken stock in a glass oven-proof dish such as Pyrex. Place the two pumpkin halves cut side down. Cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Cook for about one hour, until the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork.
  5. Scoop out pumpkin flesh with a spoon. Discard skin.
  6. Chop your onion into small dice. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large stock pot. Add onion and cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  7. Lower heat to low and cook onions, stirring every once in a while, until they turn a caramel color, about 30 minutes.
  8. Add the scooped out pumpkin. Then add remaining 7 cups of chicken broth to the stock pot, cup by cup to ensure you’re not adding too much liquid. You want the pumpkin to be fully submerged, but still visible. Season with a little salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  9. Puree the mixture with a hand blender or another preferred blending device. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. When you’re ready to eat the soup, place the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter in a small pan. Melt over medium heat until the butter solids begin to turn brown. You’ll want to watch it closely so the butter doesn’t burn as it is a fine line between nutty and carbonized. Drizzle the brown butter with a spoon generously over the top of your soup. Alternatively, you could garnish with creme fraiche or even heavy cream.

6 Responses to >Perfect for Fall: Pumpkin Soup with Caramelized Onions and Brown Butter Drizzle

  1. >I just picked up a sugar pumpkin from a local farm, and I'm going to out it to use in this recipe. I love the photo of your family, everyone looks so happy!

  2. I will immediately grab your rss feed as I can’t find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

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