Creamy Pumpkin Chipotle Soup with Savory Pie Crust Croutons.
I caved. I said I wasn't going to make a pumpkin recipe this year and I did. I have made a few now actually and this soup, Creamy Pumpkin Chipotle Soup with Savory Pie Crust Croutons, was totally worth breaking my own promise to myself of no pumpkin this year.
It is still very hot in Vegas, compared to the rest of the country it seems. Especially back east. I have friends in Buffalo, NY saying it's snowing already and I am still cruising around in tanks, shorts and flip flops. Hot soup is much more suited for a meal for my chilly east coast friends, but I am one of those weirdos that can eat hot soup in summer and iced coffee in winter.
Even though it really isn't quite soup weather here in Vegas, it is everywhere else so I figured sharing this creamy pumpkin chipotle soup would be much appreciated by my friends turning on their heat while I still have on my air conditioning.
I am a HUGE fan of soups. I almost always order soup when we go out to eat as my appetizer, or for part of my meal. I love miso soup when we go out for sushi, tortilla soup when we go out for Mexican etc. and at Thanksgiving and Christmas I always make soup for our appetizer. I make my Cioppino for Christmas eve dinner and some sort of squash or pumpkin soup for Thanksgiving.
This creamy pumpkin chipotle soup makes for a perfect Thanksgiving meal starter.
The day I was collecting all my ingredients for the soup I went to Trader Joe's to get a few things plus some of our usual pantry and fridge staples. My kids always stop to look at the flower bouquets and saw these mini pumpkins on stems for sale. I have never seen anything like them before and of course my kids insisted on me buying them so I bought a bouquet of mini pumpkins. I knew they would be perfect to use in my pics for the pumpkin soup.
When we got home I looked up online to see what they are exactly. Turns out they are a type of eggplant! They are called pumpkin on a stick, tree pumpkins or pumpkin bush and are a type of small eggplant that turn a pumpkin orange color when starting to dry out.
My kids thought they were SO CUTE and I do too. You can read more about these Tree Pumpkins HERE. Looks like they are pretty easy to grow at home too.
Now that I had decided what soup to make and the decor for my pictures it was time to get cooking. I didn't want to make just soup, I wanted this recipe to have something fun to go with it.
I have these cute mini fall themed cookie cutters that I knew would be perfect for pie crust croutons or crackers to add to the soup as a fun topping.
These are really easy to make. I have had my issues with pie crust in the past when making pies. Pie crust is definitely an art form, and I am better at cakes than pie. However, making these is also similar to making sugar cookie cutouts, something I have lots of practice with, so I knew I couldn't mess these up too bad.
Pumpkin shaped croutons for pumpkin soup. Ahh so cute. I also made some in breadstick like form using a fluted ravioli cutter.
I was having a hard time keeping my kids from eating them all before I could take all my photos of the recipe. These were flaky and buttery and so good. Sort of like a puffy butter cracker. I don't blame my kids for wanting to munch on them. They were really good!
So if you are looking for an easy and delicious starter to your Thanksgiving meal this year, or an easy meal for a chilly evening, warm up with a bowl ( or two!) of my creamy chipotle pumpkin soup with pie crust croutons. Just try to not eat all the croutons before you eat the soup!
For the soup:
- 2 tablespoon olive oil or butter
- 1 cup diced sweet yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chipotle chili in adobo, minced with sauce*
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups pumpkin puree
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup half and half (up to 2 cups for a creamier soup)
For the croutons:
- Store-bought pie crust ( the kind in a box, not formed into pie shape already) OR leftover pie dough
- OR make homemade with the following ingredients:
- 1 ⅓ cups all purpose flour
- ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoon butter, very cold cut into ½ inch cubes
- 3 tablespoon ice water
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoon heavy cream
- Toasted pumpkin seeds
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
For the Soup:
1. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven head the oil or butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté 5-6 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, chipotle in a adobo and stir for another minute.
2. Add in the spices and bay leaves and stir well then add in the pumpkin puree and stock. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender for this. You may need to process the soup in batches if using a smaller blender.
3. Transfer back to the pot once pureed, stir in the half and half. Taste and season with more salt and spices if desired. For a spicier soup add inn more of the adobo sauce from the chipotle chiles in adobo. Keep warm until ready to serve.
For the Croutons:
1. If using store-bought/premade pie crust skip to step 3.
2. If making pie crust from scratch combine the flour, salt and baking powder and spices in a bowl and whisk. Add in the butter and mix with your hands, flattening the butter pieces with the flour until incorporated. You can also use a fork or a pastry blender for this step. Add in the ice water one tablespoon at a time and mix until the dough comes together. If your kitchen is warm, chill the dough before adding the water and chill for a few minutes after adding each tablespoon. You want to keep the dough as cold as possible. Once the water is added place the dough on a lightly floured surface and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
3. Remove the pie crust from the fridge ( store-bought or homemade) and place on a floured surface. Let the store-bought dough come to cool room temperature. Roll out the homemade crust to about ¼-1/2 inch thick. Thicker than you would roll out for an actual pie. Unroll store-bought and let thaw slightly.
4. Cut out shapes using whatever shaped mini cookie cutters you like, ( I used a mini fall themed shapes cutters from Wilton) Dip the cutters into flour to keep from sticking to the pie dough as you cut out the shapes. You can also cut the pie dough into small squares or circles or use a fluted pastry cutter to make small strips. Transfer the cut dough to a baking sheet lined with a silicone bake mat or parchment paper, placing the pieces an inch apart. Whisk the egg and cream and brush the tops of the cut out shapes with the mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Chill for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 425 Deg. F. Bake pie crust croutons for 8-10 minutes until crisp and golden. Cool slightly on a wire cooling rack before serving. Best served hot.
To serve the soup:
Serve the soup into soup bowls, top each with two tablespoons or so of sour cream or Greek yogurt, a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds and top with the pie crust croutons. Serve soup hot!
*Chipotles in adobo can be pretty spicy so I start with a tablespoon, I dice up some of the chili with the sauce, and add more if I want a spicier soup. The first time I tried chipotles in adobo I add the whole can’s worth into the recipe and couldn’t eat what I made. It was SO spicy. So I learned less is more.
You can make the pie dough for the croutons a day ahead of time and make the croutons while the soup is cooking. The croutons are best eaten the day they are made. You can keep them in an airtight container and reheat in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes until crispy again.
This soup easily doubles to feed a crown and freezes well. If you want to make the soup well ahead of time make as is but don’t include the half and half. Thaw the soup in the refrigerator then heat in a soup pot or dutch oven on the stove. Once simmering add in the half and half and finish as the recipe states above.
This soup really is perfect as a Thanksgiving starter or for any chilly fall or winter day day. These croutons are great way to use up leftover pie dough scraps too.