Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups soup, about 1 tbsp. sour cream mixture)
Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Claire Spollen
1 (3-lb.) sugar pumpkin, butternut squash, or kabocha squash
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
1 1/2 cups chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
1/2 cup chopped carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
6 garlic cloves, crushed
4 thyme sprigs, plus more for topping
1 sage sprig
1 oregano sprig
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
6 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons whole milk
Pomegranate seeds for topping (optional)
Pumpkin seeds for topping (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut pumpkin into quarters; discard seeds. Place on a baking sheet, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Bake in preheated oven until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool until easy to handle. Remove skin, and discard. Set aside 1 1/2 cups (about 15 ounces) cooked pumpkin; reserve remaining pumpkin for another use.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, sage, and oregano; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. (Do not brown.) Add salt and turmeric; cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth and 1 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove and discard herb sprigs.
Place half of pumpkin mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender, and place a clean towel over opening in lid. Process until mixture is very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining pumpkin mixture. Stir in the apple cider vinegar.
Whisk together sour cream and milk in a small bowl. Divide soup evenly among 6 shallow bowls; drizzle with sour cream mixture, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and pumpkin seeds, if desired.
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