This post is about soup - a soup that has pumpkin in it. And still. I stand by the title. Let me explain what I mean by Not-Pumpkin Soup. This soup isn't pumpkin pie in a bowl. It's not sweet at all, and there's not even a whisper of the spices that are generally used to spice pumpkin desserts. I love Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares, Pumpkin Roll, and Pumpkin Bread. I don't, however, care for soup that tastes even remotely like those delicious treats. THAT'S what I mean by Not-Pumpkin Soup. Kim posted Spicy Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup recently. It, too, is a "not-pumpkin soup" recipe. I imagine you are thinking. "Have you gone crazy? Pumpkin is in the name of that recipe!" Kim's soup has pumpkin in it, but you would never know. The same can be said of this soup. Why use it then? To be honest, I first developed this recipe when I had left over pumpkin after baking Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares. Originally, I made a soup that was spicy, seasoned with cumin, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes. The version pictured above has a Mediterranean flavor. I continue to make versions of this soup because it is substantial and hearty without being heavy, not to mention the fact that it's delicious and super easy.
I decided to make this particular version for two practical reasons. I needed a side dish for my dinner that night, and I hadn't eaten lunch and was VERY hungry. Like the kind of hungry where I was in danger of eating handfuls of tortilla chips and calling it lunch. I made the soup for lunch (it's that quick) AND served it as a side to my pasta with broccoli for dinner. I love a "double duty" recipe.
Mediterranean Style Not-Pumpkin Soup
Chop 3 or 4 cloves of garlic and sauté in olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and let the garlic get lightly golden. Add a can of beans (drained and rinsed). This time I used Adsuki, but use any beans your family likes. Season the beans and garlic with several shakes of red pepper flakes and smoked paprika. Chop two roasted red peppers from a jar and then add pumpkin. I usually use about 1 cup pumpkin. Add salt and pepper. Add chicken stock (about 2 cups), the amount depends on how thick you want your soup. Add chopped rosemary. Simmer the soup for at least 15 minutes. When serving drizzle chili oil over each bowl.
Most of the recipes on Cook with 2 Chicks are really templates or guides. This soup is a perfect example. I used the same method that I have for other versions but decided to season it based on what I had on hand and what flavors would work with what I already had planned for dinner.
Basic formula for Not-Pumpkin Soup
sauté garlic or onion or leeks (or all 3) in olive oil, add beans and/or vegetables, add spices and herbs, add pumpkin, add stock.