Fall is hands down my favorite season. Michigan summers are beautiful, but it doesn’t get better then cool, crisp days at the apple orchard or the farmer’s market, riding your bike or taking a hike through the woods with leaves crunching underfoot, snuggling up to a bonfire in your jeans and a sweatshirt, curling up on the couch with some comfort food to watch football, and of course… PUMPKIN!
For as long as I can remember, I have loved all things pumpkin. To be fair, any winter squash makes me happy. But there’s just something about pumpkin that really hits the spot! I love it roasted with a little butter, made into a sweet treat like my Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding, baked into a savory Pumpkin Cheddar Biscuit, or added to a deliciously hearty comfort food like Roasted Poblano and Pumpkin Chili.
Canned pumpkin is a nice convenience, but it is so easy to make pumpkin puree, there’s no reason not to give it a try. I’ve said this a thousand times, but when you make pantry and freezer staples yourself, you control the ingredients. Bottom line, you know what went into the food and you can often choose higher quality ingredients (like organic) for less than purchasing that item pre-made. I have a detailed post on roasting pie pumpkins for homemade puree that you can check out here.
As a side note, if you are following an SCD diet, canned pumpkin is not allowed, but homemade pumpkin puree is. If your are curious why, I’ve read that canned pumpkin is sometimes processed with starches and sugars that do not have to be put on the label. Once again, make it yourself and know what you are getting!
Now let’s get to the recipe, cuz all this pumpkin talk is making me hungry!
- 2 pounds of pastured pork sausage (I used Italian because that is what I had. Breakfast sausage is tasty too!)
- 2 cups of homemade pumpkin puree (Canned is fine if you are not following an SCD diet, but note that a can usually only has 1 3/4 cups in it. Your soup will be slightly less pumpkiny, but still mighty delicious!)
- 1 medium sweet yellow onion, diced
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 4 cups of homemade chicken or pork stock
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons grass-fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil
- 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk
- Cook the sausage in a large frying pan, breaking it into small pieces. Once it is fully browned and no pink spots remain, drain the excess fat and move the sausage to a bowl.
- Add 1 Tablespoon of your fat (butter, ghee, or coconut oil) to the frying pan and saute the onion until soft and fragrant, 4-5 minutes. Place the onion in a large stock pot.
- Add the other Tablespoon of fat to the frying pan and saute the red bell peppers for 3-4 minutes or until just softened. Remove from the heat.
- Your onions are already in the stock pot. Now add the pumpkin puree and stock. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree using a blender or do it right in the stock pot using an immersion blender.
- Return the soup to the heat and add the sausage, red bell peppers, oregano, thyme, rosemary, crushed red pepper flakes, paprika, and sea salt. Stir well to combine.
- Bring to a simmer and let the soup cook, covered, for another 5-10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut milk. (If you include dairy in your diet, you could certainly use grass-fed cream in place of the coconut milk.)
This recipe is adapted from Caveman Food.
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