Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish

I think we all know that eating fall squash is a requirement in October and November.  And it is a wonderful thing.  I have made this particular recipe several times over the past several falls and what I love about it is, first, it is so easy.  Second, I love the relish.  I have a weakness for soup toppings.  It has gotten to the point where every time I make a soup, I search long and hard for a garnish or topping.

The relish is everything the soup is not.  It is spicy and tangy and sweet.  The soup is creamy and has a subtle sweetness, but is mostly savory.  It has a deep flavor because of the chicken stock and fresh thyme (I always use fresh thyme in place of the poultry seasoning/ground thyme).    The other thing I change is I don't usually use the two cups of heavy cream.  I probably put less than a cup of half and half.  But, I never do the same thing and it is delicious every time.  Even though I love fat, I don't love really thick and creamy soups.  I am more of a broth girl.  

To pull an Ina on you, this soup is even more delicious when you use homemade stock and freshly roasted pumpkin.  Duh.  But it does make quite a difference.  However, don't be ashamed to pull out a few cans and make this for a quick week night dinner.  I have been out of homemade stock for a long time and it doesn't stop me.  Speaking of which, I need to stock up on that for Thanksgiving.  

Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish
recipe courtesy Rachael Ray via Food Network

For the soup:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
2 tablespoons butter
1 fresh bay leaf
2 ribs celery with greens, finely chopped (save time and purchase celery already
washed, trimmed and cut into sticks, this makes chopping fast work)
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning or 2 teaspoons ground thyme
2 teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste
6 cups chicken stock
1 (28-ounce) can cooked pumpkin puree
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For the relish:
1 crisp apple, such as McIntosh or Granny Smith, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat a medium soup pot over medium to medium high heat. Add the oil and melt the butter. Add bay, celery, and onion. Season the veggies with salt and pepper.  Cook 6 or 7 minutes, until tender. Add flour, poultry seasoning and hot sauce, to taste, then cook flour a minute. Whisk in chicken stock and bring liquid to a bubble. Whisk in pumpkin in large spoonfuls to incorporate it into the broth.  Simmer soup 10 minutes to thicken a bit then add in cream and nutmeg. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.

While soup cooks, assemble the relish: combine apple, onion, lemon juice, cranberries, chili powder, honey and cinnamon.

Adjust seasonings in soup and relish and serve soup in shallow bowls with a few spoonfuls of relish.

(Servings: 4-8, Prep time: 20 min., Cook time: 30 min., Difficulty: Easy)

foodforscot Ratings:

Shanon (taste):  7/10
Scot (taste):  9/10
Effort:  2/5
Dishwashing Effort:  2/5


  1. Not relish in your corny jokes, but what do you need to "stock" up on for Thanksgiving?

  2. What a perfect fall soup. I've missed visiting! I'm so glad my arm is healing and I can type again. This looks so good (as always) and I'm already hungry again even though I just finished breakfast. Much love and many blessings from Austin!