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Creamy Pumpkin-Peanut Soup

This hearty soup, one I’ve just updated from its 2009 version, is perfect for a cold fall day when you can’t think what you want to eat. While I like it with a little butter at the beginning and some cream stirred in at the end, it’s lovely without those things as well. You could swap in almond or another non-dairy milk, use all olive oil, and omit Parmigiano-Reggiano garnish for a vegan version. I throw the raw vegetables, apples, and herbs into the food processor to make things easy, but you can chop them all with a knife, too.
8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 plump large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 each: trimmed stalks of celery and medium trimmed unpeeled carrots
  • 2 apples cored but unpeeled
  • Handful fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 8 sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dry rubbed sage
  • Leaves from 4 sprigs fresh thymeor 2 teaspoons dry thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter can sub olive oil
  • Pinch crushed red pepper, optional
  • ½ cup white wine, optional
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans puréed pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter-or to taste
  • 1 ½ quarts (6 cups) vegetable broth
  • 2-3 drops of hot sauce, optional
  • 1 cup heavy cream, half and half, or non-fat evaporated milk (can sub non-dairy milk or leave out)
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and/or chopped peanuts for garnish

Instructions

  • Process, pulsing, first nine ingredients (onions-thyme) in food processor until almost puréed or cut into a small dice with a knife. Add the oil and butter to a large soup pot; heat over medium heat with the crushed red pepper, if using, for 30 seconds. Add puréed or chopped vegetable and herb mixture along with 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt and ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.
  • Sauté 10 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently. Pour in white wine, if using, and let cook, stirring, until nearly evaporated. Add pumpkin, peanut butter, broth, and hot sauce, if using. Bring to boil, stirring. Reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring regularly, or until everything is tender.
  • Purée using an immersion blender or carefully in batches in a blender--or leave chunky. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add cream or milk. Heat through without boiling. Taste and adjust seasonings one last time. Serve hot in warmed bowls garnished with either Parmigiano-Reggiano, chopped peanuts, or both. Summertime version? Let cool in pot, refrigerate overnight, and serve cold.
    Store well-covered in the fridge for 3-4 days. Freeze without cream in airtight containers or freezer bags 4-6 months. Thaw in fridge overnight, heat slowly over medium flame until simmering. Turn off; add cream or milk. Heat though without boiling and serve hot.

Notes

Copyright Alyce Morgan, 2021. All rights reserved