Creamy Pumpkin Soup
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
One 4-pound sugar pie pumpkin
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 large or 6 medium garlic cloves, pressed or minced
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
⅛ tsp cloves
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional, if you like spice)
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
½ cup full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream
2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
¼ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Carefully halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds.
Slice each pumpkin halve in half to make quarters. Brush or rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over the flesh of the pumpkin and place the quarters, cut sides down, onto the baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes or longer, until the orange flesh is easily pierced through with a fork. Set it aside to cool for a few minutes.
Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once the oil is simmering, add onion, garlic, and salt to the skillet. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. In the meantime, peel the pumpkin skin off the pumpkins and discard the skin.
Add the pumpkin flesh, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cayenne pepper (if using), and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Use your stirring spoon to break up the pumpkin a bit. Pour in the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, toast the pepitas in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, golden, and making little popping noises. Transfer pepitas to a bowl to cool.
Once the pumpkin mixture is done cooking, stir in the coconut milk and maple syrup. Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool slightly. You can use an immersion blender to blend the soup in the pot or use a stand blender and work in batches.
Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Sprinkle pepitas over the soup and serve. Let leftover soup cool completely before transferring it to a proper storage container and refrigerating it for up to 4 days. (Leftovers taste even better the next day!) Or, freeze this soup for up to 3 months.