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Pumpkin Soup in Mini Pumpkin Bowls
Pumpkin Soup in Mini Pumpkin Bowls Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Presenting pumpkin soup in mini pumpkin bowls, the most seasonal way imaginable to eat soup. These adorable pie pumpkins (aka sugar pumpkins), which you can find in any supermarket, are just as easy to roast as squash. Oh, and don’t toss the seeds; they make a delicious crunchy topping.

RELATED: Hearty Stuffed Butternut Squash

Makes 4 servings

Soup

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 leeks, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

One 28-ounce can pumpkin puree

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

6 sage leaves

⅓ cup half-and-half or heavy cream

Pumpkin Bowls

4 small pie pumpkins

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toppings

4 ounces baby kale or spinach

1 garlic clove

⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Reserved pumpkin seeds

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Flaky sea salt

 

1. Make the Soup: In a large pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more.

2. Stir the pumpkin puree and broth into the pot. Season the soup with salt and pepper; add the bay leaf, thyme and sage. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat until the soup develops good flavor, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup smooth inside the pot (or transfer it to a blender or food processor). Stir in the half-and-half.

3. Make the Bowls: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Cut around the stem of each pumpkin to remove the top; scoop out the seeds. Wash the seeds and lay on paper towels to dry. Rub the inside of each pumpkin with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

5. Transfer the pumpkins to the prepared baking sheet, replace the tops and roast until the flesh is tender but not so soft that it begins to collapse, 20 to 25 minutes.

6. Make the Toppings: In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the baby kale and garlic. Gradually add ⅓ cup olive oil olive oil with the machine running, then add the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

7. In a medium skillet, heat 1½ tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and fry, stirring constantly until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the smoked paprika, cayenne and flaky sea salt; toss well to combine.

8. To serve, remove the tops from the roasted pumpkin bowls and divide the soup among the bowls. Top each with 2 tablespoons of the kale pesto and 2 tablespoons of the fried seeds.

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