It’s fall, and that means 2 Acre Farm is bringing their wide selection of pumpkins to the Culver Farmers’ Market. They’ve already nearly sold out this year, but I did manage to snag a couple of Long Island Cheese pumpkins. While most folks decorate for a few weeks and then toss their pumpkins, these guys are delicious. So, when life gives you pumpkins, make soup! Pumpkin and sausage soup
I was in the mood for something chunky, rich, herby, and savory. But I had no cream and no stock on hand. So I started bringing as many tricks as I could find in my pantry to maximize flavor with what I had on hand, given much of the liquid for my soup was going to be plain water. The result was delicious!
Savory Pumpkin and Sausage Soup
Make the most of your fall pumpkin by doing more than just decorating with it! Make Pumpkin and Sausage soup!
This soup uses several tricks to yield a rich, hearty soup, despite not having any stock or cream.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the 'guts,' reserving the seeds. Peel one half, then chop into bite sized chunks. Reserve the other half for another use.
Oil a sheet pan with the olive oil, and add the chopped pumpkin. Season with salt and pepper, and toss with the oil. Insert one bunch each of sage and thyme, whole, into the pile of pumpkin. Roast in the oven until tender but not mushy, about 45 minutes, stirring a couple of times during the roast.
While the pumpkin is roasting, brown the sausage in a heavy stock pot or dutch oven. Meanwhile, chop the onions, and add when the sausage is nearly cooked. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to caramelize. Add the pepper flakes and paprika to taste. I was pretty generous, and it was good that way.
Peel and mince the garlic. Add it to the sausage mixture, and continue to cook just until it becomes fragrant, about 45 seconds.
Add water to just cover the sausage (do not drain). Add bay leaves, and bring to a simmer. Chop the remaining sage, and destem the remaining thyme. Add to the pot. If you have a parmesan rind handy, toss it in the pot, too.
Meanwhile, remove pumpkin seeds from the pulp, rinse clean, and dry on paper towels.
When the pumpkin is tender, switch the oven to broil, and broil until it just starts to show some color. Discard the herbs stems, then dump the pumpkin into the pot. Reset oven temperature to 375 F.
Use the back of a wooden spoon to smash a portion of the pumpkin against the side of the pot. Don't use an immersion blender or potato masher - they're too aggressive!
Add the feta cheese, and stir in. Add milk until the soup is the desired consistency.
Slice the rope sausage into coins, and add to the soup. Bring back to a simmer, stirring frequently.
Grate a small heap of parmesan into the soup, stir in until it melts. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Spread the pumpkin seeds on a dry sheet pan, and toast in the oven. Check frequently, and stir often - it will only take a few minutes.
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with more Parmesan, and a sprinkle of the toasted pumpkin seeds.
Originally created Oct 2, 2022 with the following locally-sourced ingredients