Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Alice Waters' Pumpkin Soup

These two characters have been staring me down every time I open the fridge. "Use me Lauren! Don't let me go to waste!" "We're going to rot!" "You love pumpkin, why are we sitting here?!?" They've been taunting me....

We are so happily settling into our new routine as a family of three. It is hard to believe our little bundle is just 2.5 weeks old. There is, undoubtedly, less time in the day for cooking and the pumpkins felt a little daunting. So I ignored them. Until today.

Laying in bed the other night I thought, "Well this is silly, Lauren, what would Alice do? She undoubtedly has a simple preparation."  One quick look at page 277 of Chez Panisse Vegetables and I had just the recipe.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup: 2 hours of total time, but more importantly, only 20 minutes of active cooking time. So simple, and so so so good. My mother and I enjoyed the soup for lunch today, and she actually used the adjective "divine." Enjoy!

Alice Waters' Roasted Pumpkin Soup 
(from Chez Panisse Vegetables)
  • 3 lbs of fresh sugar pumpkin (2 small pumpkins in my CSA)
  • 3-5 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and darker orange pulp
  • Rub the cut sides with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper
  • Place the pumpkin, cut side down, on a baking sheet, with a sprig of thyme and 2 unpeeled cloves of garlic tucked into each cavity
  • Roast for 45 minutes to one hour until completely tender
  • Remove from oven, and let cool completely 
  • Peel off the skin and add the remaining pumpkin to a soup pot along with the roasted garlic, squeezed out of its skin
  • Strip the thyme off the stalk, and add to the pot
  • Add 3 cups of chicken stock and heat to a simmer
  • Alice suggests mashing together with a wire whisk... I blended with an immersion blender until smooth
  • Add more chicken stock, if desired, to achieve your preferred consistency 
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt or pepper as needed
  • Optional in the Alice recipe (but not in my kitchen!): add 1 tbs of butter to richen the soup

If you have the ingredients, continue with these black pepper croutons. I served my soup with a dollop of greek yogurt instead but will certainly add this croutons next time:

  • Cube the bread into 1/2 inch cubes and toss with the melted butter
  • Sprinkle with salt, spread on a baking sheet and roast until brown and crispy
  • Generously grind black pepper as you remove from the oven
  • Top the soup with the croutons and serve


  1. It's official. You are super woman

  2. I got to have some of this as well - delicious!!! Going to try to make myself.


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