Spiced Pumpkin Soup with Shrimp
Have you ever had pumpkin soup before?
With fall in full swing, the days are getting shorter and colder. And pumpkins are still everywhere. What a perfect time to try out pumpkin soup! So today, I thought I’d share with you my favorite fresh pumpkin soup recipe: spiced pumpkin and shrimp soup. It’s much lighter than other squash or pumpkin soup recipes but just as creamy. It’s a well-rounded dish with some shrimp and corn so it can stand alone as a meal or pair with some sides. And with a nice blend of some mace (or nutmeg) and allspice, this soup has it all.
The only extra equipment you need other than a sauté pan is a blender or food processor. Not too much is required but the blender or food processor is what makes this soup creamy and smooth.
A Few Suggestions for a Zero Waste and Minimalist Kitchen
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I am one of those poor souls trapped with using a tiny kitchen in a cookie cutter apartment. You know what I am talking about. It’s one of those kitchens with very little counter space and barely enough room for two people to work in. In fact, we avoid being in there at the same time since we just trip over each other getting around. So needless to say, kitchen space is in short supply and that requires using as few appliances as possible.
I have always been a minimalist when it came to my kitchen appliances. I just don’t like having too many gadgets and clutter to get in my way. But this setup has made me find a way to trim it down even more. So I love it when I can use one appliance for many different functions.
A High-Performance Blender
One such item is my high-performance Vitamix blender. This thing is like my Swiss Army knife of kitchen appliances. It acts as a blender, food processor, juicer (with pulp), and heating element all in one. In short, I highly recommend it especially for this recipe. It makes the smoothest pumpkin puree and pumpkin soup that will ever have.
But it isn’t the only option out there. I have been hearing really good things about the Blendtec Total Classic blender (affiliate link) as well and the price is comparable (or possibly cheaper) to the Vitamix. However, there are many good choices on the market so I suggest you do your research first before buying. If you are looking for ways to pare down you clutter, a high-performance blender like this is a worthy investment. The only downside is these puppies aren’t cheap. But they are worth every penny!
Heirloom Quality Cookware
Another transition we are slowly making in the kitchen is replacing all of our old pots and pans with heirloom quality cookware one at a time. Not only is this better for the environment with less cheap low quality cookware ending up in our landfills but buying heirloom cookware will save you tons of money in the long run.
As the word heirloom suggests, this type of cookware is made to last your lifetime. One example is cast-iron. I am a huge fan of cast-iron. It does a wonder job of holding on to heat, improves with use, and is virtually indestructible. Unfortunately cast-iron cookware is also very heavy and the versatility of options in types of pans and pots is rather limited. And for some people, cast-iron just might not be a good choice.
But there is another option. 360 Cookware is a company that makes heirloom quality stainless steel cookware that is far superior to the big brands. They are a small family-owned company out of Wisconsin. They pay their employees a fair wage with great benefits and manufacture their products using a process that creates a zero carbon footprint. Unfortunately, this cookware like anything made ethically and of high-quality, it won’t be cheap.
For this recipe, I would highly recommend using a 3.5 quart sauteing pan like this one (affiliate link). But once again, these guys are not cheap.
Tips and Tricks for Making Pumpkin and Shrimp Soup
This recipe was made with the intention of using pumpkin but many times pumpkin and squash soup are used synonymously and with good reason. Very recently I made this recipe because we had some leftover squash that we needed to eat before it went bad. The soup was just as good with acorn squash as it is with pumpkin.
So are you sitting on any winter squash and not sure what to do with it? You’ve got a great meal just waiting to be made!
Now if you don’t have any fresh pumpkin, you can use the canned stuff but I highly recommend making this pumpkin soup from fresh pumpkin because it tastes light years better. There really is no comparison. Plus, making your own fresh pumpkin isn’t as hard as you might think. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind.
- To start with, you don’t want to use the same pumpkin that you use to carve a jack-o-lantern. It’s edible but the meat is flavorless and watery. Besides, do you really want to try to fit that big boy in an oven (especially while it’s grinning merrily for those trick-or-treaters tomorrow night)? What you are looking for is a smaller sibling usually labeled a “pie” or “sugar” pumpkin.
- To keep your waste down, I highly recommend that you make your pumpkin puree at home. If you’ve never roasted a pumpkin, it’s just like roasting any squash. You just wash the outside, cut the stem off the top, chop it in half, pull out the seeds and pumpkin goop (Save the seeds!), lay it on a shallow baking pan, cover it with foil, and pop it in the oven for about an hour at 400F or 205C. That’s it! I have a post that goes into more detail about how to make homemade pumpkin puree.
- Likewise, I recommend using a homemade broth. It is a great way to minimize your packaging waste plus broths are a wonderful money-saver when you use your vegetable and bone scraps. I typically use bone broth but chicken broth will also work as well. Never made bone broth before? Here’s a post of my favorite way to make bone broth using scraps that might help.
- Additionally, if you are crunched for time, you can use precooked and peeled shrimp instead of raw. But again, I highly recommend using raw shrimp so that you can sauté the shrimp in the garlic, spices, and ginger. Not only does it fuse the seasonings into the shrimp but it also adds flavor to the dish overall.
- If you don’t keep any mace in your kitchen, nutmeg will do. Mace is the outer coating of the nutmeg shell so the taste is practically the same. However, it’s isn’t a 1:1 ratio. Mace is a concentrated form of nutmeg. So the suggested ratio is for every ¼ tsp. of mace called for, use 1 tsp. of nutmeg.
- I use extra virgin coconut oil for this recipe. I find that it works the best as it is a super healthy oil that is great for sautéing but lite in flavor. However, if you don’t stock coconut oil in your kitchen, any vegetable oil that can stand sautéing temperatures will do. I recommend extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil but you can also use canola or vegetable oil as well.
- Lastly, did you hold on to those seeds? Of course! We can’t forget out those seeds. In fact, I’ve got a how to roast pumpkin seeds post that can show you how to turn those lovely little fellas into a great healthy snack for the whole family.
Well, I think that about covers it! Let’s move on to the exciting part.
Love all things pumpkin (or winter squash)? So do we! You might want to check out our spicy maple roasted pumpkin seeds (v), pumpkin muffins (v), vanilla cardamom roasted squash seeds (v), and pumpkin hummus (v)!
v – vegan
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to see your awesome creation! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to hashtag a photo on Instagram #sustainablesauceresses!
Or if you have any questions or feedback, you are always welcome to leave me a comment below. I’d really love to hear from you!
Spiced Pumpkin and Shrimp Soup
- 3-4 Quart Saute Pan
- Blender or Food Processor
- Measuring Cup and Spoons
- Cutting Board
- 1 lbs raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 lg. onion, chopped
- 3 med. carrots, chopped
- 2 ears cooked corn (about 1 cup)
- ¼ fresh cilantro, chopped
- 14 oz. bone or chicken broth
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp. allspice, ground
- ¼ tsp. mace, ground
- ¾ tsp. pink himalayan or sea salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper, ground
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil (divided)
- In a small stock pot or large saucepan, cook the shrimp, ginger, allspice, mace, garlic, salt, and black pepper in hot oil on a med-high heat for about 5 minutes or until the shrimp is opaque. Transfer shrimp to a small bowl leaving as much of the spices and juices in the pan as possible. Set aside.
- Add the other tbsp. of oil to the pan with the onions, carrots, and cilantro on a med-high heat covered for about 10-12 minutes or until veggies are tender. Stir occasionally.
- Transfer everything except the shrimp to a blender or food processor with ½ cup of the broth. Cover and blend mixture until smooth.
- On a med. heat, place the veggie puree back into the same saucepan along with the rest of the broth, pumpkin puree, milk, shrimp, and corn. Heat through (about 5-10 minutes). Stir frequently.
- Serve immediately. Will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for about 3-4 days.¼
Did you give this recipe a try?