Did you all see my Italian Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe a few posts ago? Do you remember how I talked about always having a random squash or gourd of some sort sitting on my counter in the fall and never getting around to baking it? Well, folks, the problem has escalated! I thought I was pretty awesome for tackling those acorn squash. I cooked them up and thought, “Done and done. No more winter squash on my counter top.” Well my husband didn’t see it in the same light. He thought “Yes, Amy cooked the squash! I should go buy more so she will make it again!” It’s a problem, people! We now have four butternut squash, one spaghetti squash, one buttercup squash, and two baking pumpkins sitting on our counter (not to mention a couple other pumpkins around the house for decoration)! And that is right now, after I have already made two batches or butternut squash soup, butternut squash and kale burritos, raw pumpkin juice, and a batch of this soup!
My husband likes to take my daughter on daddy-daughter dates and quite often they stop at the grocery store. They always come home with all sorts of random vegetables, never looking in the fridge to see that is full and that I already have a menu planned for the week. It’s a little bit frustrating, but mostly endearing.
I am actually kind of glad to have all these winter squash and pumpkins because it inspired me to make this soup. It just screams autumn and coziness and warmth. I was inspired by my friend Meg’s yummy butternut squash soup recipe, which I love. I decided to make it vegetarian and use pumpkins and mushrooms to mix things up a little bit. It’s the perfect way to use up those random pumpkins sitting around.
This soup is really easy, too. Especially if you have an immersion blender. You basically just roast a pumpkin in the oven until its soft, then puree it with veggie broth, spices and herbs, milk, and just a touch of cream. Then you throw in some very thin mushrooms and let them steam in the soup in the last ten minutes. Sometimes I like to cook the heck out of my mushrooms, but sometimes I love a delicate, slightly steamed mushroom making its presence known in my soup. In this soup, I choose the latter.
If you like, you can roast the pumpkin a day or two in advance to make an even faster dinner prep. You could also easily make this soup vegan. See my note at the bottom of the recipe about making it dairy free.
- 1 pie pumpkin or sugar pumpkin (about the size of a cantaloupe)
- 2 TBSP. butter or olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 6 C. veggie broth
- 3/4 C. milk
- 1/4 C. cream
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne
- 2 tsp. dill
- 4 oz. mushrooms, very thinly sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- freshly grated nutmeg for topping (optional)
1. Preheat to 400 degrees F. Wash the exterior of the pumpkin. With a sharp serrated knife, slice the stem off. Then slice the pumpkin in half vertically. Scoop out all the seeds and pulp. Place pumpkin, cut-side down into a large baking dish. You can cut the pumpkin into fourths if it will help it fit into the dish. Place a 1/4 inch of water in the bottom of the dish. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until it can easily be pierced with a fork.
2. While you let the pumpkin cool, heat the butter or oil over medium high heat in a large stock pot. Once it is hot, add the onions. Cook for a few minutes, then lower heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft. Add the veggie broth.
3. Once the pumpkin is cool enough to touch, scoop out all the flesh into the stock pot and discard the peels. Use an immersion blender (stick blender) to puree the soup until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender (I highly recommend buying one!), you can transfer the soup to a blender and puree in batches until smooth and transfer back to the pot.
4. Add in the milk, cream, cayenne, and dill and stir (see note below for vegan options). Let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the thinly sliced mushrooms (make sure they are very thin!) and let simmer for 10 minutes more. Taste and add a little more salt if needed.
5. Ladle into bowls and grate fresh nutmeg over top. Serve with toasted sourdough bread or some kind of yummy crusty roll.
VEGAN OPTION: Use olive oil instead of butter. Use 1 Cup of cashew cream instead of the milk and cream. It works beautifully and is even thicker and creamier than the non-vegan version. Here is how I made my cashew cream for this soup: 1) Soak 1 C. of RAW cashews in hot water for a couple hours, but up to 8 hours. 2)Drain and rinse the cashews. 3) Add the cashews, 3/4 C. water, 1 garlic clove, a splash of lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp. salt and blend until smooth and creamy. If its still chunky, add more water and keep blending until its smooth. You could also make a thinner soup and just use soy milk or any other type of non dairy milk, but I recommend using the cashew cream. Its pretty delicious.
Here are some other yummy winter squash and pumpkin recipes:
- Portobello and Spaghetti Squash Stacks
- Southwest Spaghetti Squash
- Italian Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Roasted Butternut Squash Panini
- Butternut Squash Burritos with Black Beans and Kale
- Pumpkin Pie using Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- Pumpkin Chili