I believe in using the freshest ingredients possible, but pumpkin purée in a can is great. It's made from pumpkins at the peak of their season and is sometimes richer in flavor. Think how long this soup would take if you used a fresh pumpkin.
Fresh udon noodles make the soup hearty, and they soak up the flavor of the pumpkin. They also take only five minutes to heat.
This is a good dinner when your soul needs warming.
Bowls, linens and spoon from Williams-Sonoma stores.
Spiced Pumpkin Noodle Soup With Sage-Butter Croutons
Active Work Time: 20 minutes
Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Fresh udon noodles are available at well-stocked supermarkets and Asian markets.
6 cups vegetable stock
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage leaves, divided
1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin purée
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2 (7.5-ounce) packages fresh udon noodles
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Heat the broiler.
Place the stock in a saucepan over medium heat.
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until softened, 5 to 6 minutes.
Stir the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cayenne and all but 1 tablespoon of the sage leaves into the onion and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin purée and stir to combine. Pour in the hot stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sage butter croutons by mixing the reserved tablespoon of sage with the softened butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut the baguette on a bias in 12 to 16 long, thin slices and spread with the butter.
Add the udon noodles to the soup and simmer for another 5 minutes. While the noodles are cooking, place the buttered baguette slices under the broiler until the butter has melted and the edges of the bread start to brown, about 2 minutes.
Remove the soup from the stove, add the brown sugar and season generously with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide the soup among serving bowls and serve each portion with several sage butter croutons on the side or on top, resting on the sides of the bowl.
4 to 6 servings. Each of 6 servings: 508 calories; 1,553 mg sodium; 21 mg cholesterol; 19 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 75 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams protein; 5.29 grams fiber.
With Sage-Butter Croutons
1 (29-ounce ) can pumpkin purée
2 (7.5-ounce) packages udon noodles
Fresh sage leaves
30 minutes before: Chop onion and sage. Cook onion.
25 minutes before: Begin making soup.
20 minutes before: Make sage butter, slice baguette.
5 minutes before: Heat croutons under broiler and finish soup. Prepare salad.