I have lived in California for 17 years now, and one thing that I definitely miss about Massachusetts is the seasons. Not that I loved being cold, or having humidity or mosquitoes, but I liked having a change every so often. And the leaves. Definitely miss the changing of the leaves. 🙂
One thing I haven’t quite figured out about California is why people decorate for Christmas with snowflakes and snowmen. For most of us, there aren’t any around here. Is it wishful thinking? I wish I knew… I will be traveling to the snow this year (hopefully there will be snow!) when I go into the mountains for a few days before Thanksgiving and Berlin in March, and am looking forward to that.
But now, after a summer (and autumn) full of 100+ degree days, it’s finally turning into what passes for fall/winter here. Days in the high 60s into the 70s, nights in the 50s ~ it’s soup weather! I love soup. It’s easy, filling, can last for days, and is a great way to use up what’s in the fridge or on the counter. I had some little baking pumpkins that I thought were destined for dessert, but ended up in my soup instead. This is such an easy one that everyone should be making it this year.
Creamy Pumpkin Corn Chowder with Chipotle Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cups pumpkin, baked or canned
- 2 cups corn, fresh or frozen
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 cups raw cashews, blended with 2 cups water
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme (optional)
If you baked your own pumpkin and want to roast the seeds, I used:
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or regular chili powder)
- dash salt
Roast at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, flipping them halfway, until dry and crunchy. Check often, as they go from sticky to burnt rather quickly.
For the soup:
Heat the oil over medium high heat and add the onion. Cook until translucent, stirring frequently. Add the pumpkin, salt and pepper. I used the pumpkin that I’d baked, and left it in largish pieces. Cook for a few minutes, then add the cashew cream, corn and additional water. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until heated through. This amount of cashews and water makes a very thick chowdery soup. For a thinner version, use fewer cashews or more water.
Since my pumpkin was in chunks, I used an immersion blender to break it down more, but I left some lumps for added texture in the finished soup. If you’re using pureed pumpkin, you won’t need this step, but it is nice to blend some of the corn into the soup base also.
Add the spices, along with more salt & pepper if needed. I’ve found that cooking the soup for a longer time over lower heat makes a very thick, rich chowder, so if you have the time, it’s a great way to go.
Serve in bowls or cups (or your pumpkin shell!) and top with the roasted pumpkin seeds.