Creamy, comforting, spicy, sweet, and with a little crunch from the crispy pancetta. Here is a spicy roast pumpkin soup you are going to love!
Fall is here, and just like it’s time for comfort food and slow cooker recipes, it’s time for soup! Among all the soups I love, I can’t think of any which is more fall-like than pumpkin soup. It’s just says fall and makes you think of pumpkin patches and colorful leaves. To give pumpkin soup a little Mediterranean twist, I added Spanish flavors to the soup, making it extra delicious!
Back when I posted my Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal (so good! try it!), I mentioned that I am not a huge fan of pumpkin-y foods. Since I wrote that, I’ve been thinking about it, and I came to a realization.
I love roasted pumpkins and winter squashes, like acorn squash or butternut squash or the red kuri kabocha pumpkin I used here. I love making soups and salads and desserts and just having them on the side with a little butter. It’s all good!
I am not a fan of pumpkin puree.
Which is apparently a mix of different squashes chosen for their ability to puree well. Different companies have different mixes and use different varieties of squash, and by necessity, it’s going to be processed. I’m not at all against canned goods and use them, but pumpkin puree is never going to be on my list.
I’m glad I figured that out! Since now I can happily indulge in All Things Pumpkin so long as I roast them myself. 🙂
And, really, who could resist roasting up some squash this time of year? Look at that beautiful kabocha I got at the farmer’s market! It’s just asking me to cut it into eighths and pop it in the oven until it’s nice and soft. Which I did. Yum!
Once that was done, the only question was:
What sort of pumpkin soup should I make?
A few months back my husband and I went one of our local restaurants, and I had this sweet and spicy and a little smokey squash soup. I have no idea how they made it, but I knew I wanted to bring those flavors together to make my roast pumpkin soup. A little more thinking and it hit me.
That roasted red pepper sauce was exactly what I needed to balance the sweetness of the apples and pumpkin. It would provide that spicy and smokey flavor I wanted, while also adding another layer of flavor to the soup from the roasted peppers. So, I made some and swirled it into the soup, and oh my gosh it tasted amazing while looking horrible.
The red and the orange colors clashed so much! My eyes said no while my tastebuds said yes. The answer was, of course, to stop trying to swirl and just mix it all together, producing a reddish orange soup. Now it tasted amazing and looked amazing too.
Once I had the flavor all the way to OMG fantastic and had a spicy roast pumpkin soup which looked as good as it tasted, there were only two things left.
One – streamlining.
If we’re not swirling in the sauce, there is no need to dirty a second pot and make it separately! However, I needed to double check and make sure the flavors would come through if I cooked the sauce ingredients right into the soup. Happily, they did and you need only dirty one pot for the whole meal.
Two – toppings.
When I was serving the soup, my husband noted that I had a container of thin sliced pancetta in the fridge. I had bought it on a whim, but hadn’t decided what to do with it. He suggested (in his role of always trying to get me to live up to my blog name and use more bacon) that we fry it up and swirl it into the soup. Score!
The pancetta is amazing in the soup! And, of course pumpkin seeds are pretty traditional, so I picked up a bag of roast pumpkin seeds to sprinkle over the top. Also yummy and I would recommend.
If you try my recipe for Spicy Roast Pumpkin Soup, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Spicy Roast Pumpkin Soup - Spanish Style
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 2 tbsp sherry
- 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
- 3 cups roast pumpkin
- 2 roasted peeled red peppers
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 8 slices thin pancetta, or thin sliced bacon
- roasted pumpkin seeds
- In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium.
- Add the salt and onion and saute for 5 minutes, lowering the heat if it starts to brown.
- Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
- Stir in the spices - smoked paprika, paprika, cumin, and cayenne - and saute for 30 seconds.
- Pour in the chicken stock and give the soup a good stir.
- Then add the sherry, apple, pumpkin, and roasted red peppers. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the squash is very soft and falling apart.
- While the soup is cooking, saute the slices of pancetta in a skillet until browned and crispy. Set aside.
- Puree the soup until smooth, either with a hand blender or in batches in a counter blender.
- Add the cream and warm the soup through until it's just starting to bubble. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve the soup topped with the crispy pancetta and toasted pumpkin seeds.
- What Squash to Use: This soup is great with leftover roast pumpkin, or other sweet, orange fleshed winter squash.
- Prepping the Squash: To roast the squash specifically for the soup, cut a pumpkin into chunks, then put them flesh side down into a roasting pan, add 1 cup of water, cover the pan with foil, and roast for about 20 minutes at 425F. Or until the squash is nice and soft.
- Pureeing the Soup: I use a KitchenAid Hand Blender.