"There's a good smell of soup....pumpkin soup. The best you ever tasted," or so Helen Cooper's beloved children's story about a cat, squirrel, and duck, best friends, who spend their evenings together slicing, stirring, and scooping squash into a hearty meal they can slurp together on chilly autumn evenings. This soup, too, with its own pipkin of salt, may truly be a soup first in its class. An east-meets-west divine commingling, this pumpkin soup subtly spiced with Indian garam masala, makes for a slightly sweet, creamy, and liquid concoction perfect for serving on a night filled with bright October moonlight. Serve with a minimally dressed salad of mesclun greens and a glass of dry Trimbach riesling and this is an under 30-minute, delightful, weeknight supper worthy of sharing with last-minute guests.

cuisine Indian
difficulty Moderate
season Fall & Winter
serves 4 to 6


  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green part only)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree, or 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups half and half
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Crème fraîche, optional garnish
  • Chives, optional garnish
  • Roasted and salted cashews, chopped, optional garnish
  • Pepitas, optional garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Cut a small pumpkin in half, remove pulp and seeds, and place on a quarter sheet baking pan flesh side up. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 1 hour or until tender.
  3. Scoop out the roasted meat and puree in a blender or Vitamix. Clean, salt, and roast the seeds alongside the pumpkin.
  4. In a 4-quart cocotte over medium heat, melt the butter, add the onion and scallions, and sauté until golden brown.
  5. Stir in 2 cups of the pumpkin puree, broth, bay leaves, sugar,  curry, and nutmeg. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove the bay leaves. Use an immersion blender to puree (or cool and use a food processor or blender until silky smooth-if using a Vitamix, no need to cool and the result will be the ultimate silky texture). 
  7. Add the half and half, chopped parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Divide the soup among the bowls. Add a dollop of crème fraîche to the center of each bowl. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, snip scallions over the soup.
  9.  Pass the cashews and pepitas for crunch and garnish each bowl with a few small parsley leaves.