Recipe: Kurbissuppe

As you may remember, last October, my husband and I joined my parents in Salzburg for a little family vacation. In addition to a few souvenirs and a lot of memories, I brought home a newly-acquired taste for pumpkin soup. In Austria, we had it at every restaurant we visited that was serving it–which was a lot of restaurants, since pumpkin was in season over there.

I’m pretty good at dissecting flavors, so I’d figured there was onion, garlic, smoked paprika and curry in the soup. But when we got home, I wanted to make sure. After all, you don’t want to spend all that time peeling, gutting and dicing a pumpkin just to mess up the soup, right?

The obvious solution was to hit the internet. What a disappointment! I couldn’t find a single recipe in English that was anywhere close to what we’d experienced in Austria. The English-speaking world seems to prefer its pumpkin soup spiced like a stinkin’ pumpkin pie. If I want a pumpkin pie, I’ll eat it in a crust, thank you very much. Fortunately, Google Translate stepped in to help me get an idea of spice, onion and pumpkin ratios, and soup was on! Nailed it on the first try.

That brings us to this afternoon. I was busy peeling, gutting, and dicing a beautiful pumpkin for another delicious recipe–and grinning at the thought of there being enough pumpkin cubes left over for a pot of kurbissuppe–when I realized: there’s no recipe in English for my beloved soup! How could I have been holding out on you guys all this time? Well, no more, my friends. Here it is. Real kurbissuppe like they serve in Austria and Germany. No ginger, cinnamon or sugar in it.

Kurbissuppe (pumpkin soup)

2 lbs cooking pumpkin, seeded, peeled and diced (you’ll need a very sharp knife and this tutorial)
olive oil
1 medium white onion
2 cloves garlic
4 C veggie broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp curry powder
salt and pepper
optional: cayenne
1/4 C heavy cream
pumpkin seed oil (pricy, but it’ll be good for years of soup)
toasted pepitas (just stir them around in a dry skillet over high heat until a few of them pop)

Heat the olive oil in your favorite soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onions until translucent, then add the pumpkin and garlic, and saute 4 minutes more. Add broth and bay leaf, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and puree with an immersion blender. Add more broth if needed to reach desired consistency. Add spices. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove from heat. When boiling stops, stir in the heavy cream.

To serve:
Drizzle a small amount of pumpkin seed oil over each bowl. Sprinkle with some toasted pepitas.

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