A slight char brings a subtle bitter element to this Charred Pumpkin Soup. Which adds depth to the naturally occurring sugars in pumpkin and carrot. It also allows this soup to stand next to bigger, bolder, more tannic wine choices. Making it a very sophisticated soup.
This Charred Pumpkin Soup is indeed charred. Which is different than burnt. To achieve this roast the pumpkin chunks beyond merely caramelized and allow the tips and edges to become lightly blackened in places.
- 3 pound pumpkin (choose thin-skinned varities such as sugar pie, delicata, or butternut squash)
- 4 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more for seasoning)
- 1 carrot (roughly chopped)
- 1 onion (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 1 stalk celery (roughly chopped)
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped, fresh sage leaves
- freshly cracked black pepper (for seasoning)
- 4 cup chicken stock (or flavorful vegetable stock)
- grated Parmesan cheese (to taste)
- fresh, whole sage leaves (as garnish)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Halve pumpkin, remove seeds, then cut into 2‑inch chunks. Place chunks on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt; toss to coat, then spread in a single layer skin side down whenever possible. Roast until pumpkin is very tender and beginning to char fairly significantly, about 40 minutes. You want the tips and edges lightly tinged with black. Rotate pan halfway through to prevent pumpkin from actually burning. Remove from oven, let cool, then remove skins. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large soup pot heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrot, onion, celery, sage, and a big pinch each salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring often, until beginning to color, about 8 minutes.
Add the broth and peeled, charred pumpkin, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Using a stick blender, puree the soup until very smooth. Return the soup to burner and bring to a simmer; season with salt and pepper. Serve the soup garnished with grated Parmesan and whole sage leaves.