Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Soup with Red Pepper Mousse

For the next couple weeks I'm going to start putting some recipes out here to help you prepare for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays. I love traditional holiday foods with a bit of a twist so I'll try and find some fun things for you to include in your upcoming menu's.

Last week I picked up a few pumpkins at the farmer's market and Ive been trying to find some new ways to use it. I did make a pumpkin pie using fresh purée but it was made with a homemade caramel mixed into the pumpkin before cooking it which was pretty cool. I don't think I've ever made a pumpkin soup, so this was my excuse to research and find a good one to try out.

Most of the versions that I came across were pretty similar but what I liked about this one was the red pepper mousse that goes on the top. It purée's red pepper's with olive oil, vinegar, paprika and then folds it together with whipped cream. The combination of the rich pumpkin base with the red peppers comes together perfectly. If you didn't have the mousse, the flavor of the soup might almost be too light.

If you can't find pumpkin, you could also use butternut squash. The recipe below also makes quite a lot so you can cut it in half without any issues. This would make a great first course for Thanksgiving, especially since you could make it all ahead of time and then just warm in up right before you serve it.

Pumpkin Soup with Red Pepper Mousse
adapted from Gourmet


For mousse
1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-ounce envelope)
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup chilled heavy cream

For soup
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 4- to 4 1/2-pound pumpkin or butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces (9 cups)
5 carrots, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (40 fluid ounces)
3 1/2 cups water


Make mousse:
Purée peppers, oil, vinegar, paprika, and salt in a blender or food processor until very smooth.
Sprinkle gelatin over water in a 1-quart heavy saucepan and let stand 2 minutes to soften. Heat mixture over low heat, stirring, just until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in pepper purée 1 tablespoon at a time.
Beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until it just holds soft peaks. Fold in pepper mixture gently but thoroughly, then cover surface of mousse with plastic wrap and chill until set, at least 2 hours. 

Make soup while mousse chills:
Toss the pumpkin in olive oil and place in a roasting pan. Cook at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Cook carrots, onion, garlic, and bay leaf in oil in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add pumpkin, salt, cumin, and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in broth and water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are very tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Discard bay leaf. 

Blend soup in batches in cleaned blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a bowl. 

Just before serving, return soup to pot and reheat over low heat. Ladle soup into bowls and top each serving with 1 1/2 tablespoons mousse.


  1. This looks amazing, and I am glad you posted the red pepper mousse, because I plan to start putting it on lots of things now! I love savory pumpkin dishes and recently made a pumpkin pizza that was awesome.

    Here is the link if you're interested:

    Thanks again!