Not all fresh pumpkins (gourds or squashes) are best for soup. Use a sugar pumpkin (also known as a pie pumpkin), otherwise you can try one of the following squashes: buttercup, butternut, carnival, red kuri, or sweet dumpling. If you use a squash, the roasting time may vary and you may need to adjust the spicing or sweetness. Adapted from Spirit of the Harvest: North American Indian Cooking by Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs, published by Stewart, Tabori and Chang.
1.5 kg (3 lbs) pumpkin OR 1 x 796 ml can of pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling) – see notes
1.25 ml to 2.5 ml (¼ to ½ teaspoon) allspice, to taste
15 ml to 45 ml (1 to 3 tablespoons) maple syrup
750 ml to 1 L broth (chicken broth, beef, vegetable), as needed
Garnish (optional) -- one of the following
2 to 4 green onions, finely sliced (green parts only)
125 ml (½ cup) toasted chopped hazelnuts
125 ml (½ cup) toasted pumpkin seeds (instructions included)
To roast the pumpkin seeds:
Pumpkin seeds from the cleaned pumpkin
30 ml to 45 ml (2 to 3 tablespoons) flavourless oil
Salt and pepper
If using fresh pumpkin, roast it at 180C (350F) for one hour or until the tip of a sharp knife easily pierces the flesh. Let cool for 20 minutes, then halve the fruit and remove the seeds and strings, keeping the seeds. Cut the halves into wedges and peel off the papery skin. Mash or purée the flesh , and measure 800 ml (approximately 3¼ cups) or 825 g of purée for the soup.
If using canned pumpkin purée, pour into a heavy-bottomed pot and stir constantly over medium-low heat until it steams and becomes fragrant, about five minutes. This will get rid of the tinny taste.
To make the soup:
Place the prepared pumpkin, allspice, and maple syrup in a heavy-bottomed pot. Over medium-high heat, stir in enough broth to achieve the desired consistency and bring to a boil. Let bubble for about 5 minutes. Lower the heat and let simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Balance flavours to taste.
Ladle into bowls and garnish as desired. Serve while hot.
To oven roast the pumpkin seeds for the garnish, retun the oven to 180C (350F). Discard the strings and wash pat dry the seeds. Once dry, toss them in oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread them in a single layer on a baking tray and toast until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.