America’s annual love affair with pumpkin begins where Labor Day ends and soothes us all with it’s warm flavor through Thanksgiving and its weekend of yummy leftovers. I thought I’d share this recipe to give you just one more pumpkiny thing to delight in before the season comes to a halt and all our fickle hearts leave it behind in search of the perfect Christmas cookie.
Let me introduce you to Zesty Pumpkin Soup – a favorite of mine that I make at least a couple of times during the fall. Why I don’t make it year-round is a mystery because it’s so yummy. To go along with it, I’m going to give you my recipe for Billy’s Biscuits, because what’s better than a great bowl of soup and a light and airy, buttery biscuit?
I’ve had the Recipe for Zesty Pumpkin Soup for years and years and I’ve tried my best to remember the source so that I can give credit where credit is due. I think I’ve finally remembered where I got it! Years ago, at a local shop, I picked up a super-cheap set of four paperback cookbooks which I believe were called, “Home Cooks’ Easy Recipes”. The pages were printed on newsprint and other than the cover, there were no photos. I tried all sorts of recipes in those books, but eventually parted with them in a garage sale – I think. I’ve looked online and can’t find any such books to reference here, or I would be happy to do so.
The interesting thing about Zesty Pumpkin Soup is that it is savory! Almost all pumpkin recipes are some variation that requires brown sugar and reminds you in some way of the eternal favorite, pumpkin pie. This is really different, but absolutely delicious. The original recipe called for the finished soup to be pureed until smooth. However, I forgot to do this once and ended up discovering that I actually preferred the “bits”, as long as they are finely chopped.
“Billy’s Biscuits?” you ask. “Who on earth is Billy?” I believe these biscuits began with a recipe known to some folks as “Southern Gal Biscuits”, but I got the recipe from my friend, Billy, after he served them up for breakfast when I was a houseguest. They were the best biscuits I’d ever had.
Here’s Billy –
I miss Billy, but know that breakfast in Heaven has been kicked up a notch ever since he arrived. I admit to tweaking the recipe for my own use, because I steer clear of shortening and refined sugars, but I’m sure if Billy were here to taste them, he’d approve! Normally, I also steer clear of wheat, but I do have an occasional cheat day. I’d sooner cheat and have these biscuits than almost any other treat. They’re worth it! Since I’ve never made these without thinking of Billy while I’m doing it, I can’t call them by any other name.
I see you shaking your head and muttering, “Soup – maybe. Homemade biscuits – no way! Where’s the can?” I’m about to take away all your fears about not having enough time or know-how to make these. They are lightning-fast and fool-proof, due to a few little tricks I’ll share with you.
And, best of all, there’s a FREE printable recipe.
Let’s get started –
Zesty Pumpkin Soup
1/4 cup real butter
1 cup chopped onion (chop this fairly small)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken broth or stock (sugar free)
2 (14 ounce) cans pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Chopped fresh chives
Saute onion in butter until soft. Add garlic, curry powder, sald, coriander and red pepper; cook 1 minute longer.
Add broth; boil gently, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes.
Stir in pumpkin, milk and heavy cream. Cook an additional five minutes.
(As you can see in the photo, I tend to use my favorite ingredients from Aldi and Costco. Finding broth without added sugar is sometimes more difficult than catching the chicken and making your own, so I really appreciate Costco carrying the Kirkland Signature Organic Chicken Stock.)
Garnish each bowl of soup with a dollop of sour cream and chopped chives.
Makes a 3-quart saucepan of soup.
Now, before you nix the idea of making biscuits to go with this quick soup recipe, let me give you four fabulous tips that will make life so much easier!
Mix your dry ingredients ahead of time! If you know you’ll be preparing the biscuits for breakfast (when you are not exactly wide awake and ready to read a recipe and fumble around for ingredients) or if you want them hot and fresh for company, but don’t want to mess up your kitchen and be separated from your guests, this can save time and temper! Just measure all the dry ingredients into a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside until biscuit time.
- Grate the butter! I saw this tip somewhere gave it a try. I could kiss the hand of the genius who thought of it! Whether biscuits, pie crust or any other recipe, I’ll never “cut in” the fat again! All I do is grab a stick of frozen butter and my handy-dandy grater that catches all the bits and work fast. Peel back the paper on the butter and grate it against the grater with the small holes. Pop the lid onto the container and put it immediately back into the freezer! All those frozen little curls of butter will stir into your dry ingredients in about three seconds and you’ll be thanking me for passing on this grand idea. Seriously – always grate the butter!
- Invest in a large silicone countertop rolling mat. Oh my goodness! I still dust with flour, but nothing sticks! You can roll out and cut cookies, biscuits – whatever you like – directly on the mat and best of all, when guests arrive, you can just roll it up, tuck it away and clean it later. No messy counters! I got mine at Aldi for a really reasonable price and the holiday baking season would be a good time to check there. Big name brands tend to be super expensive.
- A dough scraper. I mean – really – where have these been all my life? Also, I have a marble rolling pin and I freeze it ahead of time if I know I’ll be making biscuits, cookies, etc. Nothing sticks!
1 1/2 cups all purpose non-GMO wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
4 teaspoons non-aluminum baking powder
2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
7 Tablespoons real butter, grated and re-frozen
2/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Quickly add the frozen, grated butter and stir to coat the butter with the flour mixture before the butter begins to melt.
Beat egg in milk; stir into dry ingredients, just until moistened.
Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead the dough 15 times by folding the entire ball of dough in half, giving it a quarter turn and folding it again. Roll out the dough to 3/4” thickness. Cut into circles with a large 3” biscuit cutter.
Transfer biscuits to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
Yield: About 8-10 biscuits.
Enjoy your quick and heart-warming autumn meal. If you’ve prepared your dry ingredients and butter for the biscuits ahead of time, you can whip up the biscuits while the soup is simmering and have them ready to serve!
Have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends! And…don’t forget your free printable recipes below.
Questions? Comments? If you make the soup and/or the biscuits, let me know how you liked it! Scroll back up to the title of this post and “Leave a Comment”. And why not SUBSCRIBE, so you’ll receive an email reminder each time Midwest Storyteller has something new.