Pumpkin soup number two was a success! It was seriously scrumptious and the perfect way to fill up on a sunny fall Saturday. Although, staying inside making soup on a gorgeous day is not the best idea. Soup days should be cI kept getting distracted and gazing out the window at the sun glinting off the rustling leaves. Fortunately, this soup was quick and easy — two of my favorite things.
I knew I wanted this soup to incorporate white beans for the flavor and added creaminess. I already had a recipe in mind, but I stumbled upon a Food Network recipe for pumpkin soup with cumin and it sounded too delicious to pass up. So I created a soup mash-up with the two recipes. The white bean recipe called for Italian seasonings like oregano and basil, so I swapped those out for a heaping teaspoon of cumin. I love cumin. I think it might be my favorite spice. It’s so fragrant and it enhances any dish it’s added to. Oh boy, I just discovered a wealth of fun facts about cumin. Here are some of my faves (thank you, Wikipedia):
- Cumin is the second most popular spice in the world after black pepper.
- Superstition during the Middle Ages cited that cumin kept chickens and lovers from wandering.
- It was also believed that a happy life awaited the bride and groom who carried cumin seed throughout the wedding.
So if you’re getting married or can’t keep track of your chickens, get yourself some cumin immediately. Back to the soup…
I used canned pumpkin which dissolved nicely into the vegetable broth and gave the soup a cheery orange tint, unlike my last pumpkin soup which was pretty much mushroom-colored. Delcious, yes, but not very pretty. Chopped onions and a few bay leaves sauteed in olive oil until they became soft and translucent and ready to permeate the soup with their oniony goodness. A splash of skim milk and the cannellini beans gave the soup a richness, while a quick pass with the immersion blender made it delectably creamy. As much as I love spending all day cooking a hearty pot of soup and letting it simmer away for hours, it was nice to be able to bust this out in a matter of minutes.
I wish I could take credit for the genius behind the idea to top the soup with popcorn and pepitas. Alas, Food Network beat me to it. Pepitas are the insides of pumpkin seeds after they’ve been hulled and removed from their shells. I know, right? I wasn’t aware they existed either. They’re sort of like sunflower seeds and the ones I used were roasted and salted for extra flavor. The creaminess of the fragrant soup contrasts delightfully with its crunchy, salty toppings. And the cumin! It’s so insanely delicious. I sprinkled a little bit right on top of the popcorn to finish it off with a boost of flavor. No chickens or lovers will be wandering away from this soup, that’s for sure.