Fall = pumpkins + colder weather = pumpkin soup! This soup is extra warming, thanks to the many spices I added, so make it on a cold wet dreary day (like today in my case) and you won't regret it! I like using the pumpkin because it gives me an excuse to go to one of the wonderful farm stands that are around me and pick a couple with my kids, but I am sure you can substitute with canned pumpkin, I am just not sure how many cans you would need.
1 small Pie pumpkin
1 medium onion
1-2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
1 can of lite coconut milk
2-3 cups of vegetable broth
1 can of chickpeas
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (or preferred oil)
Preparation:Cut the stem off the pumpkin, cut the pumpkin in half and get all the seeds and the strands out. You can keep the seeds for roasting if you like that. Turn the oven on at 350 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in quarters and place on a baking sheet (no oil or salt needed) for about 45 minutes or until you are able to pierce the flesh of the pumpkin with a fork. You can find some excellent pictures and detailed instructions on how to roast a pumpkin at the Pioneer Woman. Once the pumpkin is cooked it should be easy to peel and cut into cubes. They don't have to be perfect, since you are going to blend them, just small enough that your blender will be able to deal with them. Do not turn the oven off! Turn it up to 450 because you are going to need it for the croutons.
Wash the chickpeas in a colander and place them on a non stick baking sheet (or a regular sheet covered in parchment paper). Season the chickpeas with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and a couple of teaspoons of curry powder. Place the chickpeas in the oven. I made the rest of the soup while they were roasting, because the croutons are best if eaten straight out of the oven, but they need at least 30 minutes to cook.
Dice the onion and place it in a large soup pot ( I use my beloved iron cast dutch oven) with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook stirring until the onion is translucent. Add the minced garlic and the grated ginger and stir until fragrant.
Add the spices. I added about a teaspoon of each, you can add more or less and you could probably even vary the mix of spices. The important thing is that you use a lot and that you like the mix you are using. If you are just going to use one, I would go with the curry powder since it is already a mix of many other spices.
After stirring vigorously and making sure the spices are coating the onion-garlic-ginger mixture, add the pumpkin cubes and stir vigorously again. At this point you can also add some salt to taste, but keep in mind that the croutons are also going to be salty.
Add the broth and bring to a boil. Do not add too much broth, just enough to get to cover 3/4 of the vegetables.
With an immersion blender puree the pumpkin mixture. If you don't own one (and I strongly recommend you acquire one if you like creamy soups!) you can also pour the mixture into your blender, as long as it is resistant to heat. After pureeing the pumpkin mixture turn the stove off and add the coconut milk blending a little more if necessary.
Serve the soup topped with croutons. Who needs pumpkin spice lattes when you can have this?