I love fresh pumpkin, however most of the time I recommend cooking and baking with canned pumpkin because it’s so convenient. There are always exceptions to every recommendation I make, and for this recipe – use fresh pumpkin.
Pumpkin Soup requires using a fresh sweet pumpkin because the flavors are a bit lighter than canned pumpkin. The smaller pumpkins you see piled up at your local grocery store, or farmer’s market are the one’s you should select for cooking and baking.
I find the Instant Pot to be the perfect place to steam whole vegetables — like pumpkins. Cut off the lid, scoop the seeds out, and slice it in half, then it is ready for a giant steam bath to soften its interior into a warm mash. It virtually falls of the skin ready to use.
I love this soup’s simple flavors – delicate, yet substantial – reminiscent of fall. You can steam your pumpkin the day before and save it in the refrigerator to prepare the soup the next day for dinner. A nice warm bowl is divine anytime, but it’s also delicious to serve for the holidays – the pot keeps it warm until ready to serve.
1 small sweet pumpkin
1 white onion
1 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano
2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoon heavy cream
1/3 cup pepitas, optional
salt & pepper
1. Slice pumpkin lid off top and scoop seeds from inside. Cut pumpkin in half. Add 1 cup water and rack to Instant Pot. Place pumpkin lid and both sides of pumpkin inside Instant Pot and seal with lid. Press Manual and set to 30 minutes.
2. Dice onion and set aside. Let steam release naturally from Pot. Remove lid and pumpkin, set aside. Remove rack and drain water. Press Saute on Pot and add 2 teaspoons oil. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add thyme, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, stir. Scrape cooked pumpkin into pot, discarding skin.
3. Add chicken broth and bay leaf, stir to combine. Place lid on top and press Manual and cook for 10 minutes. Release steam with towel and remove lid. Using an immersion blender – puree soup until creamy (you can puree in blender in batches too). Add cream and stir.
4. Add more salt to taste, if necessary – ladle into bowls. Top with Pepitas, Enjoy!