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Spiced Pumpkin & Vegetable Soup
"Sorry, I will get a lot of haters, but I have never been a fan of pumpkin lattes. No pumpkin in my drink! But I am a "pumpkin head" and I look forward all year to cooking with it." —Rach
2 tbsp. EVOO
2 carrots, chopped
1 yellow or white onion, chopped
1 rib celery with leafy top, chopped
1 potato (russet or Yukon Gold), peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 piece fresh ginger (about 1 inch), peeled and grated, or 1 tsp. ground
1 ½ tsp. harissa paste or 1 tsp. Aleppo pepper or chili flakes
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
⅛ tsp. ground cardamom
Pinch ground smoked cinnamon or cinnamon
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock or bone broth
1 ½ to 2 lb. cooked pumpkin or butternut squash puree
1 cup full-fat yogurt or crème fraîche
½ cup chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, mint, carrot tops, or dill
Pumpkin seeds, toasted (optional)
In a large pot, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the carrots, onions, celery, and potato; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, harissa, cumin, nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon; stir until spices are aromatic and slightly darkened, 2 minutes. Add the stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the veggies are softened, 5 minutes more. Stir in the pumpkin and cook until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or cool slightly and puree in a regular blender in batches. Season with salt, if necessary.
Serve soup in shallow bowls with a dollop of yogurt or crème fraîche. Top with herbs and toasted pumpkin seeds, if desired.