Pumpkin Soup with Wild Rice and Apples

Pumpkin Soup with Wild Rice and Apples

'Small Sugar Pie' pumpkins are ideal for holding hearty servings of pumpkin soup, garnished with cooked wild rice, toasted almonds, and apples—though it's just as delicious served in a regular soup bowl.


  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 onion, cut into ½-inch dice

  • 1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced

  • 1 pumpkin (1 ½ pound), such as 'Cheese' or 'Small Sugar Pie,' seeded, peeled, cut into 1-inch wedges, and thinly sliced (to yield about 4 cups)

  • 1 large turnip, peeled, cut into 4 or 6 pieces, and thinly sliced

  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 2 ¾ teaspoons coarse salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • cup wild rice

  • 1 apple, cored and cut into ½-inch dice

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias Pinch of cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almond slivers on a rimmed baking sheet; toast until golden brown, shaking the pan halfway through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a board and chop; set aside.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add leek; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes more. Add pumpkin, turnip, carrots, parsnip, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are well mixed and coated with butter.

  3. Add 3 1/2 cups stock and thyme; bring to a boil over medium heat. Return heat to medium-low; gently simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.

  4. Fill a saucepan with cold water. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and rice. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat. Simmer until rice is tender, about 45 minutes, or according to package instructions. Drain; set aside.

  5. Remove soup from heat; let cool slightly. Use an immersion blender or puree in a food processor or blender (fill blender only halfway -- hot liquids expand). Working in batches, add stock to thin if necessary. Reheat soup over medium-low heat.

  6. Heat remaining tablespoon butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add apple; cook until brown and soft, about 3 minutes. Add scallions, remaining salt, and cayenne; cook until scallions soften, about 1 minute. Add rice and reserved nuts; cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more.

  7. Ladle soup into pumpkin bowls, and garnish with wild-rice mixture. Serve.

Cook's Notes

To convert a pumpkin into a bowl, remove all the seeds and strings with a sharp-edge spoon. Filling the pumpkin with boiling water moments before serving soup in it tempers the flesh and helps keep the food hot.

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