Sugar Pumpkin Soup with Brown Butter, Fresh Thyme, Apples, Peanut Butter and Maple Whipped Cream

Sugar Pumpkin Soup with Brown Butter, Fresh Thyme, Apples, Peanut Butter and Maple Whipped Cream

If I were to pick between butternut squash soup and pumpkin soup, I would probably go with butternut squash. Butternut squash seems to be sweeter than the pumpkin, as well as it better caramelizes in the oven, encouraging better starch breakdown and sweeter and bolder taste. In fact, I didn’t even like pumpkin soup for the longest time. So this version is loaded with flavour!

We are adding peanut butter and peanuts (you can skip it entirely or replace with different nuts,) apples for tartness and sweetness, brown butter and maple whipped cream. I find myself adding a lot more cream and maple syrup to this soup than I would like, however, I feel it really requires it. It’s so worth it though, because this soup is absolutely delicious with all of these flavours and textures in it!

Let’s get cooking!

You can omit peanut butter and peanuts entirely, or make it with any other nuts of choice - they all go amazingly well with pumpkin!

Yields4 Servings

 1 sugar pumpkin
 2 apples, preferable tart such as granny smith, split in half and cored
 oil
 2 tbsp butter or oil
 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
 2 celery stalks, chopped
 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, plus more as needed
 2 sprigs of thyme, plus only leaves of one sprig of thyme (or 1/4 tsp dried thyme)
 2 bay leaves
 spices to taste, here's what I used: 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp cloves
 ¾ cup heavy cream
 3 tbsp maple syrup, plus more to taste
 ¼ cup peanut butter, optional
 ¼ cup salted roasted peanuts, optional
 kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Split the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds,drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt and lay cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet (do not use Parchment or it won't brown.)

Bake in preheated oven. It will take around 40-45 minutes. It should be very tender when tested with a fork. Remove from the oven when ready.

After 35 minutes of baking, add 3 apple halves cut side down to the sheet with the pumpkin and continue roasting.

2

While the pumpkin bakes, let's make the base of the soup.

Heat butter over medium heat in a large pot, swirling the pan constantly and stirring the butter with a wooden spoon. At first your butter will shimmer (sound of water evaporating,) then it will start to brown and you will see brown solids forming; your butter will become perfectly still and smell nutty - you just made brown butter. This whole process should take only about 1.5-2 minutes for this small amount of butter. Be sure to watch closely, stir constantly to avoid burning and scorching the pot.

3

As soon as your brown butter is ready, add onions, carrots and celery and cook for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent, but not browned. Proceed to the next step immediately, or remove from heat and set aside until your pumpkin is ready.

4

Scoop the pumpkin out carefully, as it will be quite hot. Scoop out the apple.

Add your pumpkin and apple to the pot with onions, carrots and celery. Add 2 thyme sprigs, bay leaves, spices (see the blend I used, but can adjust to taste) and about 3 cups of stock and bring to simmer. Reduce to maintain steady simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes for flavours to meld and for onions, carrots and celery to become very tender.

5

While the soup is cooking, prepare the maple cream.

Beat 3/4 cup heavy cream, 2 TBSP maple syrup and a pinch of salt to very soft peaks. Set aside when ready.

6

When the soup is ready and all the veggies are tender, remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, and transfer the contents of the pot to a blender (or use handheld immersion blender.) Stir in peanut butter, if using, and 1 TBSP maple syrup. Process until very creamy and smooth. If needed, add more stock to thin the soup out to desired consistency.

Taste your soup and season with more salt and pepper, to taste. Salt brings out the flavour in food, so be sure to salt your food well, without making your soup taste too salty. Add more maple syrup if desired. Each pumpkin has a different level of sweetness, so it's possible some times you will need more maple syrup than other times.

7

Fold about 1/3 of your whipped maple cream into the soup. Divide the soup between bowls. Top with remaining maple whipped cream and garnish with fresh thyme leaves, peanuts and freshly ground black pepper. Slice the remaining half of the apple and garnish the soup with it. Enjoy.

Ingredients

 1 sugar pumpkin
 2 apples, preferable tart such as granny smith, split in half and cored
 oil
 2 tbsp butter or oil
 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
 2 celery stalks, chopped
 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, plus more as needed
 2 sprigs of thyme, plus only leaves of one sprig of thyme (or 1/4 tsp dried thyme)
 2 bay leaves
 spices to taste, here's what I used: 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp cloves
 ¾ cup heavy cream
 3 tbsp maple syrup, plus more to taste
 ¼ cup peanut butter, optional
 ¼ cup salted roasted peanuts, optional
 kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Split the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds,drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt and lay cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet (do not use Parchment or it won't brown.)

Bake in preheated oven. It will take around 40-45 minutes. It should be very tender when tested with a fork. Remove from the oven when ready.

After 35 minutes of baking, add 3 apple halves cut side down to the sheet with the pumpkin and continue roasting.

2

While the pumpkin bakes, let's make the base of the soup.

Heat butter over medium heat in a large pot, swirling the pan constantly and stirring the butter with a wooden spoon. At first your butter will shimmer (sound of water evaporating,) then it will start to brown and you will see brown solids forming; your butter will become perfectly still and smell nutty - you just made brown butter. This whole process should take only about 1.5-2 minutes for this small amount of butter. Be sure to watch closely, stir constantly to avoid burning and scorching the pot.

3

As soon as your brown butter is ready, add onions, carrots and celery and cook for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent, but not browned. Proceed to the next step immediately, or remove from heat and set aside until your pumpkin is ready.

4

Scoop the pumpkin out carefully, as it will be quite hot. Scoop out the apple.

Add your pumpkin and apple to the pot with onions, carrots and celery. Add 2 thyme sprigs, bay leaves, spices (see the blend I used, but can adjust to taste) and about 3 cups of stock and bring to simmer. Reduce to maintain steady simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes for flavours to meld and for onions, carrots and celery to become very tender.

5

While the soup is cooking, prepare the maple cream.

Beat 3/4 cup heavy cream, 2 TBSP maple syrup and a pinch of salt to very soft peaks. Set aside when ready.

6

When the soup is ready and all the veggies are tender, remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, and transfer the contents of the pot to a blender (or use handheld immersion blender.) Stir in peanut butter, if using, and 1 TBSP maple syrup. Process until very creamy and smooth. If needed, add more stock to thin the soup out to desired consistency.

Taste your soup and season with more salt and pepper, to taste. Salt brings out the flavour in food, so be sure to salt your food well, without making your soup taste too salty. Add more maple syrup if desired. Each pumpkin has a different level of sweetness, so it's possible some times you will need more maple syrup than other times.

7

Fold about 1/3 of your whipped maple cream into the soup. Divide the soup between bowls. Top with remaining maple whipped cream and garnish with fresh thyme leaves, peanuts and freshly ground black pepper. Slice the remaining half of the apple and garnish the soup with it. Enjoy.

Sugar Pumpkin Soup

Make it Vegan and Dairy-Free: Do not use cream. You can however, add some optional vegan sour cream, coconut cream or full fat coconut milk instead. Do not use butter. Simply heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a pan and proceed to cooking onions and celery as per Step 2. Be sure to use vegetable and not chicken stock for Vegan option.

Happens to be Gluten-Free.

Happens to be Vegetarian: as long as you use vegetable stock and not chicken stock.

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