In October, it’s all about the fall festivals for me and my friends. We go from town to town, taking a tour of South Jersey’s finest fall fests. The weather is always perfect for staying outdoors all day in the warm sun and the crisp air. The scent of kettle corn and falling leaves permeate throughout the festivals and you can’t help but get wrapped up in the season. Loads of fresh flowers and bumpy gourds are displayed on various stands, but the one that stands out most is of course the pumpkin tables.
Carving and painting stations are filled with eager children and my friends and I are not even a little bit shy when it comes to participating in some of these fall activities. I get so excited about all the different shapes and sizes of pumpkins that I often end up taking home a bit more than I can handle.
After the jack-o-lanterns have been lit and the pumpkins seeds are done roasting, I usually have a lot more pumpkin left over. Lucky for me, I have a few stand-by recipes that I stick to for various dessert treats. But after a long day of walking miles and miles through various fall festivals, my friends and I are always hungry for a delicious fall dinner.
My cousin Maggie Waters gave me an amazing recipe for her version of Pumpkin Soup that I absolutely love. It was part of a gift she gave me for my bridal shower and it was the very first recipe I dug out from the box of recipes that all the women in our family gave me. Cousin Maggie is one of those fabulous cousins of mine who shares with me a love for cosmos, Tiffany’s and cooking. When it comes to inventing a recipe, Maggie is the master so I knew when she gave me one of her super recipes, it was going to rock my kitchen. And I wasn’t wrong!
I know when one usually thinks of pumpkin, thoughts of sweet treats first spring to mind, but this soup is simple and savory. Maggie’s Pumpkin Soup is simple to make, uses a lot of the most commons ingredients that you might already have in your kitchen and is so smooth and creamy, you may just skip dinner. The soup is thick and creamy, but does not contain any cream or milk. The creaminess comes from the texture of roasted and sautéed vegetables which are then transferred to a blender until smooth. Trust me, after one taste of this delectable dish, you’ll be going back for second or third bowlfuls of this amazing bright orange soup!
This soup is terrific all by itself on a crisp fall evening or as a starter for a Thanksgiving meal. For me, the perfect meal after a perfect day of fall festing is coming home to a hearty roast that’s been in the slow cooker, cooking up Maggie’s Pumpkin Soup with fresh pumpkins and, of course, a homemade apple pie for dessert.
Cousin Maggie’s Pumpkin Soup
4 Tblsp butter
2 onions, finely diced
4 stalks celery, finely diced
2 carrots, sliced
4 Tblsp flour
2 cups cooked and pureed pumpkin
6 cups chicken broth
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper
2 pinches sugar
Melt the butter in the soup pot. Sautee onion until golden brown. Add celery and carrots. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. Blend in flour. Add pumpkin, then gradually add broth and seasonings. Return to flame. Bring to a boil uncovered. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Puree in a blender or use a hand blender in the soup pot. Serve immediately.