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 this is one – use fresh pumpkin when making soup.
Pumpkin Soup requires using a fresh sweet pumpkin because the flavors are fresher and a bit lighter than using canned pumpkin. The smaller pumpkins you see piled up at your local grocery store, or farmer’s market with a sticky label on it marked with directions on how to roast it in the oven for pumpkin pie are just the ones. I discard all of that information and use it for soups or in savory veggie recipes.
Since the Instant Pot has come on the scene, I find it the perfect place to steam whole vegetables — like pumpkins. Cut the lid off, scoop the seeds out and slice it in half and it is ready for a giant steam bath to soften its interior into a warm mash. It virtually falls of the skin ready to stir up in the same pot for this easy fall-like soup.
You’ll love this soup’s simple flavors – it makes a nice warm bowl for ladling in just a few minutes. Also, you can steam your pumpkin the day before and save it in the refrigerator to prepare the soup the next day for dinner. This soup is great to serve on holidays because it stays warm in the pot 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 salt if necessary and ladle into bowls. Top with Pepitas, Enjoy!