Pumpkin and Kale Soup

Two fall favorites come together in this smooth and spicy seasonal soup recipe.

Pumpkin and Kale Soup

Pumpkin and Kale Soup

Photo by: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo by Mick Telkamp

Pumpkin and kale soup uses cool weather crops to warm your belly.

The last of copious summer crops have been eaten, swapped, canned or frozen. I may have taken a moment to bid a wistful farewell to the warm weather produce, but it didn’t last long. Fall has arrived and so have those cool-weather favorites we didn’t realized we missed so much. Apples, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, beets and plenty of greens are all returning to favor, but nothing quite helps me embrace the return of autumn like the sugar pumpkin.

As kids race through the pumpkin patch in search of the perfect pumpkin, I’m doing the same thing. While Jack O’Lantern carvers may want the biggest pumpkin available, my perfect pumpkin is about 8 inches in diameter, has firm skin, a hollow sound when thumped and weighs in at no more than 4 pounds. For those preparing for fall baking and comfort cooking, sugar pumpkins are ready to be roasted and pureed. Pumpkin pies will abound, but my first order of business is to make cool-weather favorite — a hot bowl of soup.

It doesn’t get more autumnal than this sweet and spicy pairing of two superstars of the fall produce scene. Silky pumpkin puree is beautifully complemented by the earthy tones and sturdy texture of kale in this easy-to-make soup.  Nutmeg and maple syrup further declare the season and a touch of cayenne pepper will help keep you warm as the weather grows cold.

Two 15 ounce cans of pumpkin puree can be substituted for the fresh puree in this recipe, but fresh is always better. Besides, a pumpkin patch excursion is a great opportunity to get out in the brisk autumn air and the perfect way to warm up when you get home.

Pumpkin Kale Soup

Serves 8

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions, well chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 4 cups fresh pumpkin puree
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Saute onions in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat until soft.

Stir in nutmeg, salt, cayenne pepper and maple syrup.

Add pumpkin puree and chicken broth, stir well and bring to boil.

Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Stir in chopped kale and continue to simmer 10 minutes.

Stir in heavy cream and simmer 5 more minutes.

Serve hot.

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