I don't know what it's like where you are, but where I live the mornings are cold and frosty, and even the sunny afternoons feel cold. I love a lot of things about fall - the boots and sweaters and scarves, the colours of the leaves against the bright blue skies, cups of cinnamon tea and the urge to bake everything. The thing I don't like about fall - other than it's the brief segue into a long winter - is that I'm cold. Every year at this time my hands are freezing and I'm constantly chilled, trying to acclimatize to the sudden sharpness in the air.
All of which is to say that lately, I'm craving soup.
This pumpkin soup is perfect for those chilly fall days; it's thick and hearty and is a meal on its own. I love to serve this topped with pumpkin seeds or croutons, with a warm-from-the-oven slice of crusty bread. It's the edible equivalent to a cozy blanket and fuzzy slippers: warming, comforting, and good for the soul.
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium. Add chopped onion and minced garlic, and saute until browned and softened, about ten minutes.
Stir in pumpkin puree, vegetable stock, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup, and cook until heated through.
If you prefer a smooth bisque, use an immersion blender (or transfer to a regular blender) and blend until smooth.
Stir in cashew cream (or heavy cream) and serve, topped with pumpkin seeds or croutons.
The leaves are beautiful colours and the sky is blue, but there is a definite chill in the air. Fall is such a pretty time of the year, but I spend most of it acclimatizing to the frosty mornings and brisk winds. "Put on another sweater," is my mantra, but on these chilly days, I like to have something that warms me from the inside out. That's right, I'm talking about soup!
In the Venn diagram of seasonal eating, soup season nicely overlaps with butternut squash season. Oh, the wonderful butternut squash—what a versatile and scrumptious gourd! Not only does it make a delicious soup, but it also is extremely high in Vitamin A, beta-carotine, and antioxidants. Butternut squash is low in calories but high in fibre and very filling, making this a perfect meal for those of us who may have been pilfering the Halloween candy all month.
I love to use cashew cream to add that extra richness and flavour, but if nuts are not an option for you, full-fat coconut milk, soy cream, or heavy cream will also work well in this recipe.