It was approximately 6 years ago, and we had joined together with a bunch of colleagues and friends for a Canadian Thanksgiving potluck. There were the usual suspects: turkey, mashed potatoes, green veggies of various shapes and sizes, gravy, dinner rolls, pumpkin pie, the classic jello mould…etc.
Instead of being one of those people who opts to bring a “classic” item, I branched out and chose to bring pumpkin soup. It’s very autumnal, perfect for Thanksgiving, and different enough that no one else would likely bring it.
I brought it in my crock pot, set it out with a ladle, and expected people to fill up their bowls immediately! Instead, people gave it a quick look a by-passed it.
I was confused, but pressed on, and served myself a bowl of the deliciousness.
I sat down, and my friend next to me said, “what is that?”
Incredulously I replied, “…pumpkin soup…?”
“Oh,” he said, “I thought it was a giant crock pot of nacho cheese dip.”
And thus I understood where the complications arose. People didn’t realize it was soup! THE perfect soup for such a festive occasion! They were misguided. They didn’t understand.
I spread the word that it indeed was not nacho cheese dip, and people began to try it, realizing that it was as delicious as I knew it to be.
And since then, when invited to a Thanksgiving potluck (of the Canadian or American variety) I usually try to bring the pumpkin soup. Once people “figure it out” it tends to be a hit. And quite frankly, Thanksgiving or not, it’s just a yummy soup.
I’ve posted the original recipe here, as well as a curried version, but I’ve made it twice in the last week for American Thanksgiving festivities, and I made some changes (namely changes that add more flavour and make it vegan) that I think warrant a new post, with a bit of an updated recipe. It’s still the same classic vibe, but a little bit more delicious.
The New Pumpkin Soup:
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion (any kind), diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1″ of fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 tbsp. curry powder
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 5-6 cloves
- 4 cups cooked pumpkin puree (= 2 cans)
- 2 cups of coconut milk (= 1 can)
- 3 cups of water (or vegetable stock)
On medium-low heat, simmer the oils, salt, pepper, and onions. Once the onions begin to caramelize add the garlic and ginger. Simmer for a few more minutes and then add in the rest of the spices. Reduce to low and simmer 2-3 minutes. Add in the pumpkin, coconut milk, water (or stock) and simmer on low. Use a hand blender to puree the soup to your desired consistency (I prefer mine to be smooth). Taste and add any extra spices or salt to your own tastes. The longer it simmers the better it will taste.