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Smoky Pumpkin Soup – Recipe

Smoky Pumpkin Soup – Recipe

This is one of our favorite soup recipes ever, combining the beta-carotene-rich nourishment of pumpkin with a delightful Autumn smokiness, a recipe that grew out of a soup shared with friends at a cozy fireside lunch in a nearby Colonial inn.

Outdoors, the weather may be cold and blustery, but this flavorful, creamy soup will warm your bodies and your souls!


3 tablespoons butter, margarine, or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small to medium carrot, sliced in 1/2-inch rounds
1/2 cup well-scrubbed sweet potato, cut into chunks
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup pumpkin puree (or 1 cup chopped raw pumpkin)
1 slice oat bread, torn into pieces (this adds body and oaty nourishment. If oat bread is unavailable, substitute whole wheat and add 1 tablespoon rolled oats)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
1/2 cup light cream or half-and-half (vegans may substitute soy milk or 2 tablespoons cashew or almond butter for a creamy texture)
1/2 cup smoked gouda cheese, grated (this is what gives the soup its delightful smoky flavor; vegans may use a few drops of natural smoke flavoring instead)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Suggested toppings (optional):
Dollop of sour cream, whipped cream, or crème fraiche Small mound of grated smoked gouda
Grating of fresh nutmeg or a pinch of dried sage or thyme
Sprinkling of cayenne
Spoonful of raw or toasted pumpkin seeds

1. In a large soup pot, heat the butter on medium. When the butter is melted, add onion, garlic, carrot, and sweet potato. Saute the vegetables, stirring to coat with butter, for a few minutes, until the onion is translucent.

2. Add the vegetable broth, pumpkin puree, oat bread, thyme, and sage. Stir to mix thoroughly, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the sweet potato is tender, about 30 minutes.

3. Add the light cream, cheese, and parsley. Stir to mix and continue to simmer (do not boil) until the cheese is melted.

4. Puree in batches in your blender or food processor, adding more cream to thin, if needed.

5. Serve warm in individual bowls with a combination of any of the suggested toppings.

Serves 6.

Read more: Food, All recipes, Soups & Salads

Adapted from Witch in the Kitchen, by Cait Johnson (Inner Traditions, 2001). Copyright (c) 2001 by Cait Johnson. Reprinted by permission of Inner Traditions.
Adapted from Witch in the Kitchen, by Cait Johnson (Inner Traditions, 2001).

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Cait Johnson

Cait Johnson, MFA, is the author of six books, including Earth, Water, Fire, and Air: Essential Ways of Connecting to Spirit, Witch in the Kitchen, Celebrating the Great Mother and Tarot Games. She has been a counselor for more than 20 years, and teaches workshops on seasonal elemental approaches to self-healing, conscious eating, and soul-nurturing creativity.

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10:38AM PDT on Sep 16, 2012


1:20PM PDT on Aug 6, 2012


6:37PM PDT on Jun 22, 2012


6:37AM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

Yummy. Great recipe. Thanks for posting.

11:36AM PST on Feb 21, 2008

This soup is delicious. I feel a little guilty about the half and half, but I don't indulge this way often. I felt it could have been a little smokier, even with the smoked cheese, so I used some liquid smoke in addition. I also garnished with fried sage leaves. The family loves it.

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