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Capitol Hill Cooks | 15th Ave E inspires a seasonal soup

Out of your gourd(s) (Image: Emily Lieberman)

Wondering what to do with that leftover pumpkin from Halloween?

There are probably a lot of great ideas on the internet. This is not the recipe for you. Can’t wait until Thanksgiving to dig into your stash of Libby’s canned pumpkin? NOW we’re talking.

Our family calls this “Pumpkin Pie Soup,” but it’s even better than pumpkin pie. Or at least differently good. It IS sweet, but it’s also savory and spicy. It’s smooth, but topped with the crunch of toasted walnuts and the gooey richness of melted cheddar. In other words, it’s just great.

You might already be acquainted with this soup if you frequent the Hopvine, the Hill’s home of (great beer and) great soup. I used to hang out there, once upon a time, but now that we have munchkins I stay home and make my own soup more. Luckily Michael Congdon published this soup-er cookbook in 2004 for our home-cooking enjoyment on nights when we can’t make it to the Hop.

Share your Thanksgiving favorites
  • Send us your favorite Turkey Day recipe or post in comments. If we get enough, we’ll put together a 2011 Capitol Hill cookbook post

Pumpkin Pie Soup 
(adapted from the Southwestern Pumpkin Soup recipe in Michael Congdon’s S.O.U.P.S.: Seattle’s Own Undeniably Perfect Soups)

The Spice mix:

2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. red chile powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

The Soup:

4 c. vegetable broth
2 c. milk or cream
32 oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
½ c. real maple syrup

The Toppings:

Grated cheddar cheese
Chopped toasted walnuts
Chopped fresh cilantro

First, combine all of the ingredients for the spice mix in a small bowl.

Next, combine the broth and milk in your soup pot and get them started heating up over medium-high heat.

While the liquids are coming up to a low simmer, put the pumpkin in a larger bowl and add the maple syrup and the spice mix. Whisk to combine so that the spices are completely incorporated into the pumpkin.

When the soup pot reaches a simmer, whisk in the pumpkin mixture bit by bit. Cover it and continue to simmer for 10 or 15 minutes to let the soup thicken and the flavors combine.

Serve topped with the grated cheddar, toasted walnuts, and cilantro. (And, if you’re feeling ambitious, maybe a crispy green salad with apples or pears, feta, and pumpkin seeds.)

Capitol Hill Cooks is a home cooking recipe series featuring ingredients, ideas, and recipes from the neighborhood. Have a recipe you think we should share? Drop us a line at

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9 years ago

This sounds delicious and I will try it soon.

Thanks alot!

8 years ago

This was a big hit!