Rich and creamy pumpkin sage soup is exactly what you need to get through the last freezing days of winter! Don’t be fooled by the rich and creamy texture, though: this version is dairy free, vegan-adaptable, and good for you!
How was your weekend? It was crazy warm here. Not warm-warm. Not warm like Mexico warm (my family facetime’d me from Mexico wearing shorts and it made me very jealous), but definitely very Chicago-in-February warm. Yesterday, I even got to go for a walk/run (more walk than run, I’ll admit) along the lake. Since basically anything short of this is considered balmy this time of year, well, I’ll take it.
Today, it’s back to the grind. I’m in the office and the forecast calls for snow and cold allllll day. Yeah, it’s soup weather. And none of that amateur-hour brothy, light, precedes-the-meal kind of soup. More like rich, creamy and smooth, stick-to-your-ribs (but not weigh-you-down) soup swirled with something warm and flavorful.
It’s every year around this time when I question my sanity in a way that only a warm weather person in a cold weather climate can. How did I end up here? Why did I not move to Bora Bora when I had the chance (oh, right, because I never had the chance.)? Will spring ever come?
In between such existential crises, I take comfort in a bowl of soup. And after
xx [number redacted to protect the carefully-crafted illusion that I’m not super old] years living here, you’re either frozen to death, or you’re very well-acquainted with soup. Maybe… too much? After you’ve gotten sick of the old standbys, it’s time to get creative.
This soup calls for canned or frozen pumpkin puree (but you can also sub any squash puree, like butternut or acorn), simple pantry spices and fresh or frozen sage. I only buy sage a couple times a year, and then I freeze it (you recall that heartier herbs like rosemary and sage freeze well, don’t you?) and pull out each piece as I need it. Anyway, puree the whole thing in a high speed blender, and you’ll have a comforting dinner tonight, plus leftovers to get you through the rest of the week without turning into an icicle.
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion about 2 cups sliced
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 6 cups fresh, frozen, or canned pumpkin puree (or other starchy squash)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh or frozen sage leaves tightly packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt omit if using stock with salt added, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
In a large dutch oven or stock pot, preheat the olive oil, then add the onion and sautee until translucent.
Add 2 cups chicken stock, pumpkin puree, sage, salt, pepper, chili powder, lemon juice, and garlic. Stir to combine, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the flavors combine and mellow a little bit.
Carefully transfer the soup into a high speed blender and puree until completely smooth (make sure there are no pieces of sage leaf left!), adding an additional 1/2 - 1 cup stock as needed to keep the blender moving and thin the soup to your preference. Don't overload your blender; you may need to do this in a few batches.
Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference before serving.
Yield: 9-10 cups
Store leftovers, cooled completely, in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to three months.
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