The Beginning of Things

We might as well start by talking about food, right?

It’s fall. We’re eating the last of last season’s squash to make room for the almost-ripe pumpkins (we’re covering them every night to keep the frost from nipping them).

Lunch today was paprika-spiced kabocha pumpkin soup, with smoked mozzarella and avocado turkey panini. The avocado cut the smokiness of the cheese, which paired beautifully with the spicy, creamy soup. All I needed was a dark ale like Deschute’s Jubelale for my day to be complete.

Pumpkin Soup with Smoked Paprika

(Original recipe from

  • 1 4-5 pound kabocha pumpkin
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped, about 2 cups
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 large tart green apple (Granny Smith) peeled, cored, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Cut pumpkin in half, scoop out guts, and lay cut side down on baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft (45 min to an hour). Let cool and scoop out the flesh.
  • Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened (about 4 minutes). Add smoked paprika, cayenne, and cumin and stir for a minute more.
  • Add chopped apple, pumpkin, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the apples are cooked (about 20 minutes).
  • Using an upright or immersion blender, process soup until smooth.
  • With soup on low heat, slowly add the milk and cream, stirring to incorporate. Add salt to taste. Adjust other seasonings to taste. Garnish with chopped or whole fresh sage and Boursin cheese.

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