Autumn is here! As the weather gets cooler we look to heartier recipes to fill our stomachs. This Pumpkin-Apple Soup from our friends at Cooking Light is the perfect dish to enjoy on a cool Fall night. This tasty recipe can act as a base and be made into two separate soups. For mature palates, Chipotle Spiced Pumpkin Soup provides a kick and Thai Coconut Pumpkin Soup will keep younger palates satisfied with its sweet taste of coconut. These small variations give each soup a different flavor makeup.
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add pumpkin, apples, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 25 minutes or until pumpkin and apples are tender.
2. While soup cooks, combine pepitas, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook 7 minutes or until sugar melts and pepitas are toasted, stirring often. Transfer to a plate; cool completely, breaking up any clumps.
3. Place half of pumpkin mixture in a blender, remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape). Secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters); blend until smooth. Place soup in a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining pumpkin mixture. Pour in apple cider, and reheat in pan if needed. Divide soup evenly among 8 bowls; sprinkle evenly with pepitas.
- Thai-Coconut Soup: Omit cinnamon; instead add 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger with the pumpkin and apples in step 1. Omit apple cider; instead add 3/4 cup light coconut milk and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Omit pepitas, sugar, and salt in step 2; instead sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons cilantro before serving. Serve with lime wedges.
- Chipotle-Spiced Pumpkin Soup: Increase cinnamon to 1/2 teaspoon. Add 1 finely chopped seeded chipotle chile canned in adobo sauce to apples and pumpkin in step 1. Omit apple cider; instead add 1/4 cup water. Omit pepitas, sugar, and salt in step 2; instead garnish with 1 ounce thinly sliced and slivered Spanish chorizo, cooked in a small skillet over medium-low heat until crisp.
Tips & Trick:
- Simple toppings like salty-sweet pepitas, chorizo, or freshly chopped herbs make each soup more flavorful.
- For a fun, no-fuss garnish, top any of the soups with 2 tablespoons popped popcorn.
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