By Kelli Ra Anderson
Move over pumpkin spice—roasted pumpkin has a delicious savory side. Hearty and rich, this puréed autumn soup is made creamier and richer with cannellini beans and cream cheese. But it’s the mellow sweetness from caramelized leeks, garlic, and onion along with a bright zing from Granny Smith apples and a splash of white wine that take this beautiful dish over the top. Finish it off with a swirl of Mexican crema and garnish with a golden mound of crispy fried onions, and you have the perfect meal for a cozy October day.
MAKES 4 servings
3½ cups pumpkin purée (28 ounces canned or fresh)
3½ cups cannellini beans (28 ounces canned or cooked)
3 large leeks
1 spring onion, greens chopped
½ cup dry white wine
4 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
8 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning (blend of oregano, basil, thyme)
1 teaspoon white pepper (black is fine)
1 cup flour
½ cup Mexican crema (or sour cream thinned with water for drizzling)
1. Rinse leeks well (separate the leaves to remove any hidden soil) before chopping the white bulbs.
2. In oil, sauté leeks, one diced onion, diced apples, celery, and garlic over medium-high heat until soft (5 to 10 minutes). Stir in herbs and sauté 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Deglaze pan with white wine, scraping up any brown fond.
4. Add broth, pumpkin, and beans; purée with a hand blender.
5. Add cream cheese and stir until melted and fully incorporated.
6. Simmer, stirring occasionally over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes; thin with additional stock if too thick.
7. While the soup cooks, thinly slice the remaining onion and season with salt and pepper. Toss into flour and remove, shaking off any excess.
8. In a shallow pan, heat olive oil until shimmering over medium heat and fry the onion strips until golden. Remove and drain on paper towels.
9. Remove soup and strain through a fine mesh sieve for a silky-smooth consistency.
10. In individual bowls, top each serving with fried onions, chopped green onion, and a drizzle of Mexican crema. Serve with a slice of toasted sourdough.
PRO TIP: Roast your own pumpkin for an even deeper caramelized flavor. Halve and scoop out two pie pumpkins (not the large, decorative variety) and drizzle with oil. Lay cut side down on a roasting sheet in a 400-degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until knife-tender. Remove the pulp and purée.
Photos: Kellira Media