Pumpkin Soup


(Serves 4)
Celebrate non-GMO holidays this year by choosing local, organic pumpkins for this soup. Some commercial canned varieties are from genetically-engineered stock. Sage and pumpkin pair perfectly together. Sage offers an amazing amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components and can also enhance the appetite. Since pumpkin has a delicate flavor that prefers the background, adjust seasonings upward if you use water instead of stock.


1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup apple cider
1 Tbs canola or extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion (about 1 cup), diced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, minced
2 or 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 cups cooked pumpkin
3 cups vegetable stock or water
to taste salt and pepper
to taste fresh lemon
crispy sage and herbed croutons
(see recipe below)



  • Soak cashews in apple cider for at least one hour; then puree until smooth and creamy. Set the cashew cream aside while you make the soup. Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add oil, onion, garlic and jalapeno. Stir and cook until onions become transparent.
  • Stir in the pumpkin and vegetable stock. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Adjust taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice and thin to desired consistency.
  • Garnish with a dollop of cashew cream, crispy sage leaves and herbed croutons.

Crispy Sage and Herbed Croutons
(Makes 3 cups of croutons)

12 to 18 fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup coconut or canola oil
2 cloves minced garlic
3 cups cubed wheat or gluten-free bread
from a rustic loaf
1/2 tsp each: dried thyme, basil, and
chopped rosemary
1/2 tsp sea salt



  • Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add oil, then lay sage leaves in, one at a time. Cook leaves until they become crispy, about one minute. Do not overcook.
  • Transfer with tongs or a slotted spoon to a dish. Add garlic to the same pan. Stir and cook until lightly browned.
  • Stir in bread cubes and herbs. Cook until croutons are browned, stirring to make sure bread crumbs don’t burn. When croutons are done, sprinkle with a little olive oil and crumble in as much of the sage as you like. Stir until croutons are coated.

Debra Daniels-Zeller is author of The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook: 200 Recipes That Celebrate the Flavors of Oregon and Washington (Timber Press, 2010). She is a regular contributor to Vegetarian Journal magazine and writes a delightful food blog at http://foodconnections.blogspot.com. She can be reached at (425) 776-4689.

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