Now Ripening on the Vine: It’s Time For A Great Pumpkin Soup


51d-sl4eftL._SX373_BO1_204_203_200_.jpgLet’s face it. Pumpkins are a bit daunting. They sit on front porches during much of October with a puckish attitude that seems to say: I’m a bit rotund and rather ripe, but there’s no way you can figure out how to eat me. Carve me? Perhaps. But cook me? Well yes, you can do it. As we often do, we turned to Alice Waters’s cookbooks for the answer, and her straightforward style brings these big gourds back down to earth. If the tasty promise of this recipe doesn’t convince you to try it, consider the health benefits, which range from benefiting eyesight to boosting your mood. For a quick rundown, blink over to this HuffPost article. And then head to the nearest farmer’s market and start planning your delicious soup dinner.

Alice Waters's Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Black Pepper Croutons 

Ingredients (sourced from original recipe in her book Chez Panisse Vegetables)

  • 3 lbs of fresh sugar pumpkin (2 small pumpkins)
  • 3-5 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter 


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and darker orange pulp
  • Rub the cut sides with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper
  • Place the pumpkin, cut side down, on a baking sheet, with a sprig of thyme and 2 unpeeled cloves of garlic tucked into each cavity
  • Roast for 45 minutes to one hour until completely tender
  • Remove from oven, and let cool completely
  • Peel off the skin and add the remaining pumpkin to a soup pot along with the roasted garlic, squeezed out of its skin
  • Strip the thyme off the stalk, and add to the pot
  • Add 3 cups of chicken stock and heat to a simmer
  • Mash together with a wire whisk... [or blend with an immersion blender until smooth]
  • Add more chicken stock, if desired, to achieve your preferred consistency
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt or pepper as needed
  • Optional: add 1 tablespoon of butter for a richer tasting soup

Black Pepper Croutons

  • Cube the bread into 1/2 inch cubes and toss with the melted butter
  • Sprinkle with salt, spread on a baking sheet and roast until brown and crispy
  • Generously grind black pepper over croutons as you remove from the oven
  • Sprinkle atop the soup and serve
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