Roasted red peppers and caramelized onions combine flavors in this savory roasted pumpkin soup recipe, perfect for warming up on a cool autumn day.
I have been perfecting this recipe for several years now.
You see, when I first started my blog, that very first year I wanted to post a savory roasted pumpkin soup recipe, but I never did because I wasn’t fully happy with any of my attempts. Sure, we ate the soup here at my house, and even my husband who isn’t much of a soup fan seemed to like it enough; probably because he only likes soups that are thick, and this one is easily made that way. We both always finished our bowls, but I still felt like it was missing something.
Making a likable healthy type recipe isn’t enough; I want to make healthy recipes that make you want to eat more!
My first attempts at making a roasted pumpkin soup all used some of my homemade chicken bone broth made from simmering leftover bones in water in my slow cooker. After using more or less of it each time, I realized that I liked the soup better without any broth in it at all. (which is, of course, a personal preference, so if you want to sneak some bone broth into your soup- go right ahead!)
On the positive side, making this without broth makes it fully vegan if you caramelize the onions in a vegetable oil like coconut or olive oil.
When autumn rolls around, I love making roasted red peppers and pumpkins, but I hadn’t even considered putting them together until one day I was baking both in the oven and though… I wonder how they would work together?
Here in Spain, it is quite common to roast pumpkins and butternut squash for all sorts of sweet and savory dishes. There isn’t the option to buy the canned stuff because it just isn’t sold here. I mean really, why would it be when it really is quite simple to make your own pumpkin puree.
So, I decided to take what I did like from my recipe up until then, the caramelized onions, and combine it with the flavors of the roasted red bell peppers, and homemade pumpkin puree, into a creamy, roasted pumpkin soup.
The roasted red peppers incorporated a new level of complexity to the soup, something I was craving, and it combines perfectly with the other flavors.
Let’s make some roasted pumpkin soup!
Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Red Peppers and Caramelized Onions
Peel and cut the onion in half, and slice into thin half moons to get thin ribbons of onions to caramelize.
To caramelize the onions, melt the ghee in a pan on the stovetop over medium to high heat. Add the onions, breaking them up into thin strips, and sauté them until they brown. As they begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a little water to unstick them as you stir and continue to sauté them and let them get darker and sweeter. I repeat the process several times until they have reached the level of caramelization that I am happy with.
Meanwhile, roast your red peppers and peel and de-seed them as explained in my post about making roasted red peppers.
Remove the caramelized onions from the pan, and add the homemade pumpkin puree. If my pumpkin wasn't well roasted in the oven, or even if it was just to add a little more flavor, I like to roast it further in the pan on the stove allowing it to caramelize somewhat as you did earlier with the onions. (Not for nearly as long, though.)
Add in the roasted red pepper and half of the caramelized onions, along with some water (I used around 2 cups for a thick soup, but add enough to get the consistency you prefer), the cumin, sage, salt and pepper, and begin to puree the soup with a handheld blender. I love cumin, so I added 1/4 teaspoon and thought it was great. My husband isn't such a fan, though, and likes it when I use less. It's all a matter of each person's taste, so feel free to adjust the spices to your liking!
Serve immediately in bowls and garnish with the rest of the caramelized onions. You can also garnish with pumpkin seeds, baked proscuitto or serrano ham, or even a bit of greek yogurt as shown below!
Making it fun for Halloween:
Seeing as Halloween is coming up, I decided I just had to try out a Pinterest Halloween trick and make a spiderweb design atop my roasted pumpkin soup.
Seeing as nobody is perfect, I just assumed that you could drizzle heavy whipping cream on the soup, but I ended up with a blob of liquid rather than a delicate design! Yes, I also have my Pinterest fails. 🙂
I tried again using some greek yogurt, and that worked out much better.
If you’d like to try it out for yourself, pipe out some greek yogurt into a spiral or concentric circles on top of your soup. A spiral would probably look more realistic, but I went with the circles anyway because the contraption I was suing to pipe out the yogurt wasn’t cooperating, and the circles just seemed easier at the time. 😉
Once you have your spiral or circles, all you need to do is gently run a toothpick from the center of the circle outwards all the way around the bowl: instant spider webs!
Seeing as I was garnishing my soup with caramelized onions anyway, I decided to use a few to make an onion “spider” for my spiderwebs. It think it’s pretty darn cute and may even convince a not-so-veggie-loving kid to eat some veggie soup.
This post is also available in Español.