26 January 2011

Mexican pumpkin chipotle soup

January is apparently National Soup Month in the U.S. I couldn't think of a better month to pay homage to soup, which is one of my favorite things to make. The long, cold, dark days are just perfect for a nice, big bowl of warm soup. Mexican sopas are a particular favorite of mine. Tortilla soup, sopa azteca, posole...I love them all! It must be something about the combination of tomato, chillies, cumin, lime, cilantro, tortilla strips and corn that often feature in these soups that makes them just so darn tasty with the spicy kick that I always crave. Looking for new Mexican-inspired soup ideas on the Internet last night, I fell upon a recipe for a butternut squash soup with chipotle cream by Food Network host and Mexican cuisine guru Marcella Valladolid and knew that this was just the soup to make!

I was certainly on a chipotle kick last night, as the raspberry chipotle dressing that I made to dress a Mexican-inspired salad can attest. Marcella's soup sounded like just the perfect thing to go with it, though I did tweak her recipe a fair bit. I didn't have any fresh butternut squash on hand (the recipe calls for oven roasting and then pureeing the squash), so used a can of pumpkin puree instead. As I wanted a thick soup, I also reduced the vegetable broth from 4 to 2 cups. Though the chipotle cream to top the soup sounded lovely, I didn't add any (other than for the photos here!), though I probably would in the future. Finally, I added crumbled tortilla chips on top of the soup as a garnish. They were lovely mixed in, giving a bit of crunch as well as a nice corn flavor that complemented the warm flavors of the soup perfectly. This was very filling so if you plan to have a big bowl, you should be all set for dinner!

Adapted from Marcella Valladolid for Food Network
Serves 4 as soup servings, 2 as main dish servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons garlic paste or 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree
2 cups vegetable broth (or 2 cups water and a vegetable bouillon cube)
1 whole chipotle pepper from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Salt, to taste
Agave syrup or honey, to taste
Chopped coriander, for garnish
Crumbled tortilla chips, for garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, celery and carrots and saute until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Toss in the garlic and saute a couple of minutes more.

3. Add the pumpkin, vegetable broth and chipotle pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer on low heat until the vegetables are completely cooked, about 5-10 minutes more.

4. Puree the mixture in a blender until smooth and creamy (be careful doing this...do it in two batches to be on the safe side!).

5. Return the mixture to the saucepan and season with salt and agave syrup/honey, to your liking.

6. Serve garnished with freshly chopped coriander and crumbled tortilla chips. Yum!


  1. Looks gorgeous!!! All flavors I really love. The raspberry chipotle dressing sounds divine...and a bit romantic!

  2. What a nice and creamy soup.. I like that colour :)

  3. Wow. That soup looks so thick and creamy! I love the color, too. Sounds so interesting and unique. I love that!

  4. I still have a sugar pumpkin in the root cellar waiting for a recipe. I found its purpose in life. Thank you for a perfect January soup!

  5. Amazing! I've never been this "in the mood" for pumpkins so far from Halloween. Thanks!

  6. Wow Ramya, we have the same good taste in food, this also sounds amazing, I can't wait to try it!

  7. what a great fusion of flavors - this soup sounds excellent

  8. This looks really interesting! I posted a Mexican soup yesterday that you might like too:


  9. Great minds obviously think alike. I just made a tortilla soup that I will be posting later on this week!

  10. Wow. This is so creative. Look delicious.

  11. Hey Ramya.... you have a nice space here and I loved to read your write ups, pretty interesting, adding to my blogroll. Definitely will keep coming back... if you find time do visit mine too


  12. The love the combination of smokey chipotles and sweet pumpkin. I bet this was magical!

  13. Looks so good! Love the color, and beautiful photos

  14. Wow your soup looks so creamy. I love chipotle... so I just can't wait to try this recipe :)

  15. Wow your soup looks superbly rich. I can only imagine how it coats the spoon.

  16. Hey, great blog! I'm cooking with chipotle tonight myself - fish tacos. Glad to e-meet you!

  17. This looks really, really good. I'm going to have to try this!