Saturday, January 11, 2014

Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Shallots (Whole30 Day 11)

My mom got me a sugar pumpkin to use as a centerpiece for Thanksgiving, and it's been cheerfully sitting on my windowsill ever since.  It still looked perfectly fine to me (turns out pumpkins last 8-12 weeks), so the other day I decided to roast it.  If you have a pumpkin kicking around your house, you should, too!  Then you can make this soup.  Roasting is much better than rotting, which is what will happen if you put off roasting your pumpkin for too long.  Why waste a source of delicious food?  While you're at it, roast the seeds, too.  I tossed mine with ghee and sprinkled them with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sage, and they were amazing!

If you already got rid of all your pumpkins, don't despair.  Canned pumpkin is available in stores year-round, and will work just fine in this recipe.

Pumpkin is great, but the real star of this soup is the humble shallot.  When you fry shallots for a long time over  low heat, they turn a wonderful shade of golden brown and develop an even richer savory flavor.  After that, when you let them dry on paper towels, they crisp up.  Not like potato-chip crispy, but a wonderful kind of chewy-crispy--and they're WAY more delicious than potato chips.  You may want to make extra, because with a little salt sprinkled on top, they're pretty much better than bacon.

Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Shallots
Yield: 4 large or 6 small servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes


For the crispy shallots (adapted from Ina Garten):

5 large or 10 small shallots, thinly sliced into rings (enough to yield about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon ghee (optional--add another tablespoon of olive oil if omitting the ghee)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt to taste

For the soup:

1 tablespoon ghee (optional--add another tablespoon of olive oil if omitting the ghee)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large or 2 small shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch or two of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
2.5 cups canned or homemade pumpkin puree
1 cup coconut milk
1-3 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste

To make the crispy shallots, heat the ghee and olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over low heat.  Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally to help them brown evenly, for 35-45 minutes, or until uniformly deep golden in color.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with sea salt.  The shallots will crisp up as they dry.

Meanwhile, to make the soup, heat the ghee and olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown.  Add the sage, cinnamon, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper.  Add the white wine vinegar and let it bubble away for a minute.  Pour in the chicken stock, and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Stir in the pumpkin puree and coconut milk, and cook until heated through.  Stir in lemon juice and adjust seasonings to taste.  For a smoother soup, puree with an immersion blender or in your regular blender.

Serve the soup hot with crispy shallots on top.

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Want more Whole30 tips & recipes?  Come back for a new post everyday this month, and check out these previous posts:

For even more paleo recipes, check out these Whole30 posts from my archives or my Whole30 Pinterest board.  Also, follow me on Instagram to see pics of what I'm eating throughout my Whole30.



  1. This looks and sounds wonderful. Pumpkin is one of my faves. Just one question though. How did you cut your pumpkin open? I had two of them, and nearly chopped my hand open trying to cut them open, finally having to pull out my rubber mallet and hammer the knife thru the pumpkins. And I agree, roasted is the only way to go when it comes to pumpkins. So much better that way, except for the cutting part. My first year not opening a can for the pies.

    1. Thank you! Pumpkin is a favorite of mine, too, and this was my first time roasting my own. To cut it, I sliced the stem off, then cut it in half top to bottom with a really big knife. My pumpkin was not that big, which made it easier. My best guess is that maybe you need to sharpen your knife or use a bigger and/or sharper one?

  2. I made this last night and it was heavenly! So cozy and perfect for fall. Thanks for sharing! P.S. Love your blog name! ;)

    1. Thank you, Mymsie! I am so glad you liked it (and that you like the blog name--it took me a while to think of and some of the puns I came up with before "A Calculated Whisk" were truly terrible...)


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