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Almost ridiculously easy to make, this soup is based on a recipe from "S.O.U.P.S. - Seattle's Own Undeniably Perfect Soups" by Michael Congdon and is my absolute favorite soup. Although it is titled as "southwestern," this soup tastes very much like my favorite Indian dish of Chicken Korma, a mild, flavorful, non-spicy curry. I also use the soup as a baking sauce for chicken breasts, thighs, and cubed tofu - very tasty!
- 1⁄4 teaspoon whole cloves
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1⁄2 teaspoon green peppercorn
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried ancho chile powder
- 1⁄8 teaspoon dried chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon vietnamese ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 3⁄4 cup half-and-half
- 1 (8 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1⁄2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- grated cheddar cheese, for garnish
- toasted cashews, for garnish
- In a hot skillet, toast the cloves, coriander seeds, and peppercorns.
- Add the ground spices to the whole ones in the skillet- the cumin, chile powders, cinnamon, garlic powder, and nutmeg, and toast the mixture over high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes or until the spices begin to smoke.
- Remove from heat, let cool, and grind together to a powder (an electric coffee grinder works well for this); set aside.
- Pour the stock, half and half, and evaporated milk into the crock pot; stir well, cover, and turn on high.
- Put the pureed pumpkin into a large bowl, then add the maple syrup, salt, and the now-powdered spice mixture; use a whisk to incorporate the mixture well.
- Add the pumpkin mixture to the liquids in the crock pot, whisking it well to make sure there are no lumps.
- Cover and let simmer on high for 2 to 3 hours.
- Garnish servings with grated cheddar cheese and toasted cashew pieces.
- Many thanks to Michael for creating this wonderful soup! :).