Pumpkin soup is a soup usually made from pureed pumpkin and broth or stock. It can be served hot or cold, depending on the recipe, and may include ingredients such as onion, garlic, red pepper, and cream. It is very popular during Thanksgiving celebrations in the US and Canada.
Pumpkins are a squash, and are usually large, orange, and round or oblong. They are gourd-like in structure, and in many places the seeds are removed and faces or designs are carved through the rind to make Halloween decorations. Most parts of the pumpkin are edible, and the flesh can be baked or steamed, as well as mashed and used in pies or soups. Pumpkins are grown all over the world, and used in both sweet and savory dishes. During the Vietnam War, pumpkin soup was a staple of prisoners in the North.
Pumpkin soup is eaten in many places, but mainly in the United States, Australia, and Canada. The fruit grows best in warm weather, and usually matures in the fall, giving it it's long association with the harvest season. Researchers don't know exactly where the pumpkin first grew, but it is thought to have likely come from North America.
In Haiti, pumpkin soup is traditionally eaten on New Year's Day. This soup, which often also contains beef, potatoes, turnips, and vegetables, was served on 1 January 1804, when Haiti became an independent country. It is symbolic of national unity, and a reminder of how the country overcame slavery and oppression.
Most pumpkin soups begin with pureed pumpkin and a broth or stock. Pumpkin puree can be made with fresh pumpkin. After removing the seeds and internal membranes from a fresh pumpkin, it can be sliced into sections and baked at 350° F (176.7° C) for about 45 minutes. Once the pumpkin is cooled, the soft pulp can be scraped from the rind and pureed with a food processor or blender. Many home cooks prefer to use canned pumpkin puree, which is usually available in most supermarkets; pumpkin pie filling, which contains spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg as well as pumpkin, is also available canned, so it's important for a home cook to be sure to purchase the correct type.
"Pumpkin Soup" is also the name of a song by musician Kate Nash. It was the ninth track on her 2007 album, Made of Bricks. "Pumpkin Soup" was released as a single in December 2007.