Recipe: Clean-Out-the-Pantry Pumpkin, Peanut, & Ginger Soup

(Image credit: Nina Callaway)

We’re getting a head start on the spring Kitchn Cure, looking at our pantry and freezer with a skeptical eye. What are the foods that we won’t want to eat in a month’s time, when the greenmarkets are full of spring peas and ramps? First on our list: several cans of pumpkin puree, purchased last fall for an unrealized baking project. The result: a healthy and rich pumpkin and peanut soup perfect for these rainy March days.

Vegetarian soups are a healthy way of using up vegetables about to go bad, and a cheap way of feeding a crowd for cheap. But they’re not always practical for a weeknight supper. Without meat as a flavor base, if you don’t want to add cups of heavy cream or streams of olive oil, you’re probably in for an hour or more of simmering.

Instead, this soup relies on peanuts to add protein and flavor, lots of ginger for spice, and a dollop of rich Greek-style yogurt for that trademark tang.

Pumpkin, Peanut and Ginger Soup
Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side dish

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
A 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cup peanuts, finely chopped
3 to 4 cups vegetable stock, divided
2 15-oz cans unsweetened pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/2 cup 2% or whole milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup thick Greek-style yogurt

In a large stockpot, cook onion and garlic in oil over medium heat, until softened. Add ginger, peanuts and cinnamon , stirring as they toast lightly, about 2 minutes. Add 3 cups vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Stir in pumpkin and milk, then reduce heat to medium low. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. If it bubbles and spatters too much, add up to another cup of vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper, then puree in a blender until smooth. Serve with a big dollop of Greek yogurt, and a sprinkling of cinnamon.