Alex Thomopoulos' Roasted Garlic Sage Pesto Pumpkin Soup with Spicy Fried Pumpkin Seeds

Alex Thomopoulos' Roasted Garlic Sage Pesto Pumpkin Soup with Spicy Fried Pumpkin Seeds


  • 1 large sugar or pie pumpkin, cut in half and seeds removed and reserved (plus 4 small ones if you are making the pumpkin bowls)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk + 1 cup water (or 2 cups water)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more or less to your liking)
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sage Pesto
  • 1 head garlic (or you may sub 1 clove raw garlic)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • ½ cup fresh sage
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup parmesan
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Fried Pumpkin Seeds
  • Reserved pumpkin seeds from above
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Lots of salt to your tasting


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees°F.
  2. Cut your pumpkin in half and reserve the pumpkin seeds for later. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and rub the pumpkin with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with foil. Roast the pumpkin on a baking sheet for 45 minutes or until the pumpkin is fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool five minutes.
  3. Grab the pumpkin and add it to a food processor (or mash extremely well) and puree with 1 cup of the chicken broth. Puree until completely smooth.
  4. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the ¼ cup of olive oil and shallots. Saute the shallots until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and cook another 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin puree, remaining chicken, coconut milk, water, cayenne, nutmeg, maple syrup, and crushed red pepper. Bring the soup to a low simmer and simmer 15-20 minutes.
  5. While the soup cooks, make the pesto. Add the garlic, parsley, sage, and pistachios to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped and then stream in the olive oil. Add the cheese and pulse a few more times until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. To roast pumpkin seeds, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dry and toasted. Larger seeds may take longer. In a large bowl, stir together chili powder, brown sugar, and pepper. Set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour seeds into the pan and sprinkle with spiced sugar until it starts to caramelize. Remove from the heat and let cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  7. To assemble the soup, ladle the soup into bowls (or your roasted pumpkins) and top each bowl with a dollop of pesto, a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds, and if desired, drizzle with coconut milk.
  8. To make the roasted pumpkin soup bowls, remove the tops of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Rub the insides of the pumpkins with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes or just until soft to touch but not falling in.

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