Dish Deconstructed: Pumpkin Spice Soup

Warm, spicy pumpkin soup is a winter time treat.
Warm, spicy pumpkin soup is a winter time treat.
John Linn
Now that we're enjoying one of our rare cold fronts, you may as well make the most of it by making some wintry, homemade soup. This pumpkin spice soup takes canned pumpkin puree and turns it into an easy, cheap, and tasty meal that will warm you up in this (not-so-) frosty weather.

Pumpkin Spice Soup

1 32 oz. carton of chicken broth, preferably low sodium
1 16 oz. can of pumpkin puree
3 cloves of garlic, skin peeled
1 whole shallot, chopped into large pieces
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 8 oz. container of plain yogurt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. finely grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Add garlic and shallot to a soup pot with olive oil and sweet on medium-high heat for five to ten minutes, until shallot becomes translucent. Add thyme and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. At this point, you can either remove the garlic and shallot and puree separately in a blender or food processor or use an immersion blender to blend them in the pot. (I did the former, then returned the puree to the pot.)

Now add the can of pumpkin puree, stirring well to incorporate. Add the cayenne, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt and pepper and simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes. Add a few dahes of Worcestershire sauce. To finish, I smoothed the soup out with yogurt, not cream. Put the yogurt in a bowl and temper with a ladle-full of soup so that it doesn't break when you add it. Pour mixture in soup and stir well. I served mine by floating a pecan-crema crouton in the center (see below).


1 loaf of French bread, cut on a bias into one-inch pieces
2 TBS creme fraiche
2 TBS cream cheese
1/4 cup crushed pecans
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
2 TBS fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Place sliced bread on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and Kosher salt. Toast until brown and allow to cool. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and spread over croutons. Serve with soup.

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