Pumpkin soup is a traditional fall dish that can be both tasty and nutritious when made correctly. While it is not necessarily considered a particularly flavorful dish, you can certainly improve it with the addition of the right seasonings. Below we have some of the best spices for pumpkin soup.
The onion flavor is a key part of most savory soups. Its pungent, savory herbaceousness is a key part of the flavor you want from pumpkin soup. The onion flavor can come from a variety of different onions including white onion, red onion, and green onion. Each offers a slight variation on the same basic taste.
Onion pairs well with the pumpkin flavor and with the other spices in the soup. You can add it at different points in the cooking process to layer the different notes that onion delivers as it cooks. The taste of onion that has been cooking for a long time is mellower and sweeter than onion that has only recently been added to the pot.
You won’t see thyme in every pumpkin soup recipe, but you will see it more often than any other herb. It is a member of the mint family and brings a savory version of the mint flavor to pumpkin soup.
It is a pungent herb, so you should add it early in the cooking process to allow its flavor to soften over the cooking time. The result will be a woodsy, herbaceous flavor with a hint of camphor and pine that complements the pumpkin and other savory ingredients.
Garlic is an onion relative that is just as important for giving pumpkin soup its savory character. Its flavor is earthier than that of onions and it has a sulfurous aroma that can enhance pumpkin soup’s savory notes.
Garlic is a pungent seasoning but will pair well with the other ingredients if used in moderation. As with thyme, you will want to add garlic early and allow it to mellow out over the soup’s cooking time. Chopped fresh garlic is the best form to use in pumpkin soup.
Ground black peppercorns will be the only source of heat in a traditional US-style pumpkin soup. While pre-ground black pepper will provide very mild heat and a little flavor, your best bet will be to use fresh ground black pepper.
The fresher the pepper, the hotter it will be and the more complex the flavor it will give you. Fresh ground black pepper can give bright lemony notes to a pumpkin soup.
Stock is not a spice in the same way that the other ingredients on this list would be considered spices. But it is a seasoning blend in a sense since it is made with assorted herbs and spices. In the pumpkin soup recipes that use it, the stock makes up most of the liquid.
Chicken stock is the traditional option, but you can use vegetable stock for vegetarian or vegan versions. Bouillon cubes are often used replacing stock made from scratch.
While most people would not categorize heavy cream as a spice, it certainly plays the role of one in many pumpkin soup recipes. It is the sole source of fat and richness in many versions of pumpkin soup. It brings a creamy mouthfeel and heartiness that help to make it a filling dish for the fall.