Quick Weeknight Dinner: Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Croutons and Crispy Fried Onions

Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Croutons and Crispy Fried Onions
Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Croutons and Crispy Fried Onions

Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Croutons and Crispy Fried Onions
Recipe by: Adapted from A Spicy Perspective Yield: 6-8 servings
This quick, easy weeknight dinner will warm and fill you right up! The toppings make the soup so satisfying and delicious. The croutons, especially, will be your new favorite little recipe. I've included a simple mise-en-place setup to make this recipe a cinch for you!
Crouton Ingredients: 12 slices of a small (~3 inch diameter, ~1/2-inch slices) sourdough baguette, cubed 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 teaspoon chili powder 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/4 teaspoon salt
Soup Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped 5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped 2 tablespoons ground cumin 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 8 cups chicken stock 1 (29-ounce) can pure pumpkin purée 2 tablespoons butter, softened 2 tablespoons flour 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds; for topping) 1 cup french fried onions (like French's; for topping) Hot chile oil (for topping)
Directions: Prepare your mise-en-place:
  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and cover 2 baking sheets with foil.
  • Prepare a paper towel lined plate for draining the croutons when they're done.
  • Melt the butter for croutons and mix in garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt.
  • Put olive oil into a Dutch oven or heavy stockpot on the stove.
  • Put chopped onion, garlic, and jalapeño into medium prep bowl.
  • Put cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and salt into small prep bowl.
  • Open cans/packages of stock and pumpkin.
  • In a small prep bowl, mash together softened butter and flour (this is called a beurre manié and is used to thicken soups)
  • Put red wine vinegar and honey into two small prep bowls
  • Prepare a dish with pepitas and fried onions and set this with the bottle of chile oil on the dinner table.
Once mise-en-place is prepared, this soup is super (souper?) easy to prepare. First, make the croutons. Pour the butter and garlic powder mixture over the bread cubes and toss them to coat. Spread the bread cubes out on the baking sheets in a single layer, making sure they don't touch. Bake for around 20 minutes, flipping occasionally. Allow the croutons to cool on a paper-towel lined plate.
Make the soup. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat until it starts to shimmer. Add onion, garlic, and jalapeño into the pot and cook for 3-5 minutes or until softened. Add cumin spice mixture and cook for another 1 minute or so. Add stock, pumpkin, and beurre manié to the pot and stir to mix. Heat this to boiling before turning it down to a simmer. Simmer for around 20 minutes. Add red wine vinegar and honey and simmer for 3-5 more minutes. Use an immersion blender (or a regular blender covered with a dish towel -- if you do this, blend in small batches, opening the blender vent and being careful of the hot liquid) to purée the soup.
Serve the soup topped with crunchy fried onions, pumpkin seeds, croutons, and a drizzle of chile oil.

15 Comments on Quick Weeknight Dinner: Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Croutons and Crispy Fried Onions

  1. Jenny @ BAKE
    November 11, 2013 at 2:55 am (2 years ago)

    I’m so glad the soup was worth it after all those disasters! I rarely make a meal without cursing because I’ve knocked (albeit small) bits of prepped food on the floor! pumpkin soup is such a brilliant autumn dinner and I love your addition of crunchy toppings

    Reply
  2. Belinda @themoonblushbaker
    November 11, 2013 at 7:02 am (2 years ago)

    We all have days like that in kitchen, but I am glad your soup turned out to be amazing. I love the addition of crispy onions, I am big user of them in Asian salad. The topping on this soup looks too good to try!

    Reply
  3. Dianna
    November 11, 2013 at 7:06 am (2 years ago)

    I have had so many similar instances of kitchen disaster/meltdown! Thank God for understanding husbands to help pick up the pieces {literally}. So glad that all turned out well in the end, as is often the case in some of the most frustrating, “it’s the end of the world” situations in our lives!

    Reply
  4. Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    November 11, 2013 at 7:28 am (2 years ago)

    I have been there! Thank gd for calm husbands to come save the day in those moments of major kitchen chaos. Also, whenever I break glass I am barefoot so I’ve definitely had my Matt lift me out of the kitchen… But this soup does look worth the mess:-)

    Reply
  5. Cate @ Chez CateyLou
    November 11, 2013 at 11:09 am (2 years ago)

    Haha, a “souper” recipe – too funny. This soup looks delicious! I’m so into pumpkin anything these days!

    Reply
  6. natalie@thesweetslife
    November 11, 2013 at 9:22 pm (2 years ago)

    oh julie, we are twins…i could’ve written this post, down to retreating to the bedroom to cool down while ryan cleans up after me! :) if it makes you feel better, I spilled oats all over my freshly mopped floor yesterday, and today some applesauce singles fell out of the pantry and managed to explode!

    Reply
  7. Amy | Club Narwhal
    November 13, 2013 at 10:10 am (2 years ago)

    Oh no! I was totally cringing the whole time I read this :) Last night, after a long day of everything going wrong, I opened the fridge and a carton of almond milk jumped out and exploded all over the kitchen. It was just the last thing I needed and I definitely fled the scene. I need souper tonight for sure, especially since this one looks so delicious!

    Reply
  8. Averie @ Averie Cooks
    November 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm (2 years ago)

    Julie this looks so wonderfully comforting and good! Pinned! And I’m sorry that you had such a time of it in getting to the finished product…ugh. Been there.

    Reply
  9. LeAndra
    November 17, 2013 at 10:58 am (2 years ago)

    Well, at least red and blue look good together, right? I have to say I got a laugh out of your “I hid in bed for 15 minutes” reaction. I did a similar thing when I was about 16 years old. I’d gone to the library, and on my way back home got my car stuck in a snow drift in our driveway. Not a big deal except I was near the end of said driveway, which is actually a lane that’s a third of a mile long. I was so mad by the time I got back up to the house that I went straight upstairs and took a nap. Needless to say, my father was not all that pleased when we had to go back out in the pitch black at 5:30 p.m. and shovel my car out. But all’s well that end’s well, I suppose. Despite your kitchen disaster, your soup looks delicious.

    Reply
  10. Trisha
    November 18, 2013 at 12:28 am (2 years ago)

    Ugh. Totally been there. Once in a morning rush to get out of the house on time, I accidentally dumped half a bag of almond flour on the floor, and after an angry attempt to get a non-functioning drawer open, threw boxes of aluminum foil and plastic wrap on the floor too. I was so frazzled that I just left everything as it was. Thankfully my sweet hubby cleaned it up when he woke up. When I got home that day, his first words to me we’re, “rough morning, huh?”

    Those days happen. Also, totally want to try this soup!

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      November 18, 2013 at 8:06 am (2 years ago)

      LOL! We are twins 😉 Love sweet husbands.

      Reply
  11. Joshua Hampton
    November 18, 2013 at 6:19 am (2 years ago)

    Been there, done that. There are just days when dinner isn’t going the way you want it to and all you can do is keep the mess to a minimum. I like this pumpkin soup recipe. It looks so rich.

    Reply

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