Pair pumpkin soup with crabmeat for festive fall flavor

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If you use pumpkin pie filling for this soup then there’s no need to add extra spices, said Chef John Maxwell. However, if you use fresh cooking pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree, you can add fresh basil or oregano as well as the seasonings listed in the recipe.

For a festive presentation, serve the soup in small, roasted pumpkin shells, making sure the pumpkin “bowls” are warm before serving, so they won’t cool the soup.

Maxwell recommended topping the soup with Chesapeake Bay crab meat and crumbled bacon for a rich, delicious flavor.

You can watch him prepare the soup on Virginia Farm Bureau’s television show, Real Virginia, at

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

½ cup smoked bacon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups diced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 15-ounce cans pumpkin puree or 45 ounces cooked pumpkin
5 cups chicken stock
½ teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon coriander
2½ cups heavy cream
½ cup brown sugar
lump crabmeat

In a 4-quart saucepan, dice and sauté the bacon. Remove half of the bacon to use as a garnish.

Melt butter in the pan, and add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is clear. Add pumpkin, then chicken stock, and blend well. Add in spices, and stir for a minute longer. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

To break up the pumpkin chunks, use an immersion blender, or carefully transfer the soup to a blender or food processor, then return pureed soup to the saucepan.

With the soup on low heat, slowly add cream and brown sugar while stirring to incorporate.

Top with crabmeat and reserved bacon pieces. 

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