Pumpkin Soup with Chillies in Adobo Sauce

Squash as a soup base makes the perfect blank canvas upon which to paint the spices of your favorite cuisines. I decided to daub my paintbrush in Mexican spices today. I have some cooked pumpkin in the freezer from the large pumpkin I cooked last Autumn that I used for the recipe, but you could use canned pumpkin in a pinch.The results were great with the exception of one garnish ingredient that I’ll talk about at the end. So, before you try this, read the caveat!

Pumpkin Soup with Chillies in Adobo Sauce
Pumpkin Soup with Chillies in Adobo Sauce

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
5-8 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-3 chillies in adobo sauce
1 russet potato, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, diced
1.5 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked pumpkin (butternut squash is a good alternative)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp guajillo chilli powder. If using regular chilli powder, try a tsp at a time because it’s less flavorful but much spicier.

cream Fraiche or sour cream
fresh cilantro, chopped
toasted pumpkin seeds*

In a stock pot on medium heat, saute the onions for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the minced garlic, cumin, cinnamon oregano and chillies in adobo sauce. Continue to saute for another 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, carrots, and celery and continue to saute for another 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, pumpkin, chilli powder, and sea salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer until vegetables are soft, 20 minutes or longer if needed.

Use a wand blender to puree the soup. You can do this in the stock pot. If you use a regular blender, you’ll need to do at least 2 batches. Put the puree batches in a bowl until all the soup is pureed. Add all the soup back to the stock pot, adjust your seasoning, and simmer on low for another 5 or 10 minutes to let the flavours combine.

Serve in soup bowls and garnish with the cream Fraiche, fresh cilantro and pumpkin seeds*

* I didn’t think the pumpkin seeds turned out very well in this dish, but I toasted them in a frying pan. Next time I’ll either toast them in the oven or try toasted almonds.

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