Corn tortillas, fresh or slightly stale, thicken this soup in a flavorful way.
If you open two 15-ounce cans of pumpkin puree for this recipe, you'll have a little left over; stir it into store-bought hummus or your favorite chili or muffin recipe. To omit the alcohol, substitute fresh, unsweetened apple cider or sparkling cider.
If you have the inclination to make a crunchy garnish, cut 1 or 2 additional tortillas into thin strips and lightly fry them in oil until crisped. Or you can crumble a few store-bought tortilla chips.
Make Ahead: The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen flat in zip-top bags for up to 6 months.
Servings: 3 - 4
Yield: Makes about 5 1/4 cups
- 1/2 medium white onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus a few cilantro leaves for garnish
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Six 6-inch refrigerated corn tortillas, cut into strips, then into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Ground cayenne pepper (may substitute hot sauce)
- 1 1/2 cups canned pure pumpkin puree (from two 15-ounce cans; see headnote)
- 1 cup brown ale or hard cider (see headnote)
- 1 1/2 cups water, or more as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
- Toasted hulled pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional; see NOTE)
- Flesh of 1 ripe avocado, cubed, for garnish (optional)
Combine the onion, garlic (to taste) and cilantro in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion-cilantro mixture along with the chopped tortillas, stirring to coat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring several times, until softened.
Stir in the cumin and cayenne pepper (to taste). Cook for 1 minute, then add the pumpkin puree, ale or cider, the water and salt, stirring to incorporate. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The tortillas will break up and thicken the soup; add water to achieve the desired consistency. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Divide among bowls. Garnish with the cilantro leaves, pumpkin seeds and/or avocado, if desired. Serve warm.
NOTE: Toast pumpkin seeds in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. You will hear them make popping sounds.
Adapted from a recipe by Emily Ho on TheKitchn.com.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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