Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Walnuts

I have made a pumpkin soup in the past. It was okay, but I’ve never made it since then so it obviously didn’t make too big an impression in our house. This recipe for Harvest Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Walnuts and Blue Cheese was AMAZING. And incredibly quick to prepare. Dinner was done and on the table within just a little over 30 minutes, and that was with a five and three year old helping me.

Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Walnuts

It was kind of nice to have the kids cooking dinner with me. They’re usually more into the baking, but Madeline especially has been interested in anything that involves stirring lately. She is pretty good at sauteing (of course I still supervise closely). Because Logan is still as picky as ever I am always happy when he shows an interest in helping cook savory dishes. This child has such a sweet tooth.

My only complaint about this recipe was that the original recipe said it served 4-6. I was hoping for some leftovers for the next night, but we only got about 3 servings as a main dish out of it. There was just enough left for lunch the next day. If you’d like leftovers plan on doubling the recipe. Served with a slice of crusty bread (like Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread) this is a pretty filling meal, which surprised me because with only a 1/2 cup of half and half in the recipe there isn’t much in terms of heavy ingredients.

Easy Pumpkin Soup

This would be a great soup for any Autumn evening, but I think it would be a nice, unexpected starter or side for Thanksgiving as well. On another note, I recently made two new faux tabletops for food photography backgrounds. I couldn’t decide which photo I liked better, so I decided to include both. To me, each is pretty in a different way. I like the way the soup pops against the dark background, but I love the shimmery reflection I caught on the soup in the other photo.

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Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Walnuts

adapted from Cook's Illustrated: Soups, Stews and Chilis
serves 3-4 as a main dish


2 tablespoons butter
2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups chicken broth, plus extra for thinning
1 - 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup half and half
salt and pepper, to taste
walnuts and blue cheese for garnish


Melt the butter in a medium dutch oven pan over medium heat. Add the leeks, carrot, and celery and cook until softened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, and nutmeg. Continue to saute and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the broth, making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the soup to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin and syrup and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Working in batches, if necessary, puree the soup in a food processor or blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the soup to the dutch oven.

Stir in the half and half and and additional broth to adjust the soup's consistency (I didn't have to add any extra liquid). Season to taste with salt and pepper and heat gently over low heat until hot. Garnish individual bowls with walnuts and blue cheese.

To toast the walnuts: toss them with a bit of olive oil and saute in a small pan or toast in the toaster oven for 3-5 minutes, or until fragrant.