Even if Texas’ fall is fleeting, there’s time to make comforting, savory soups
I joke that fall in southeast Texas should really be called “fall-se.” Most years, cool fronts are few and far between, meaning we have to quickly snap to, or risk squandering the alluring chill in the air. These fleeting spells of cozy weather inspire cooks to prepare comfort foods and this savory soup doesn’t disappoint.
So wrap your favorite scarf around your neck and yank on your boots before heading out to the grocery store to shop. The straightforward ingredients are blended into submission thanks to an immersion blender, although a regular blender will do in a pinch. Velvety, savory and utterly delicious, this soup will help you shake off the chill, however coveted it may be.
COZY PUMPKIN SOUP
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 leeks, white and light green parts only, washed well and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
1 honeycrisp apple, peeled, cored and chopped
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1½ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to taste
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh sage
¼ cup heavy cream
Freshly cracked pepper
Melt the butter in a medium pot over low to medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the pumpkin, apple, broth, maple syrup, salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, thyme and sage, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes more, uncovered.
Remove from heat and add the heavy cream. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until completely smooth. (Or, allow the soup to cool slightly and use a blender to purée in batches.)
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh thyme leaves and cracked pepper, if desired.
Alicia Cahill is the owner of The Kitchen Chick, 2402 Market St. in Galveston.