Believe it or not, cappuccino soups are popular in Prague and elsewhere in the Czech Republic. I saw them no less than three times on menus while we were there earlier this month. They were all very different from each other, and my favorite was a Pumpkin Cappuccino Soup. We were in Brno (pronounced Berno), the historic capital of Moravia, very close to Slovakia. The restaurant was by far the most gourmet restaurant we ate in the entire trip. The kind of place that probably does celery root foam and candied saffron, and would fit right into San Francisco's classy restaurant scene.
What Makes This Pumpkin Soup Cappuccino Style?
The milk (in this case, Half & Half) is heated up, whipped to a light froth, and then lightly stirred into the soup. Just like your morning cappuccino. This also makes it easily optional, so you can nix it altogether for a vegan version.
What is Ras-el Hanout?
Ras-el-hanout is a spice everyone should have in their pantry. I think of it as a Moroccan version of pumpkin pie spice. And like pumpkin pie spice, it's a spice blend of aromatic spices. Ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, mace and nutmeg are often included. But not always. In face, the original versions featured as many as 50 different spices. Legend has it that North African spice dealers would mix together the best of what they had to offer, thus creating an aromatic signature blend. It's a perfect combination with any squash, and particularly in this pumpkin soup.
Pumpkin Soup – Cappuccino Style Tips
If you purchase canned pumpkin for this soup, be sure it's only pumpkin. Canned pumpkin pie filling is different. The latter will work in the recipe, but all the spices and possibly the sweetening by the cider and maple syrup would require adjusting.
Feel free to roast your own pumpkin for the pumpkin puree. Not all pumpkins roast up the same way, as some have a lot of water that's released in the roasting process. This post on roasting your own pumpkin is worth checking first.
Pumpkin is high in carbs, no lie. They boast 12 grams carbohydrates per cup of cooked pumpkin. But don't turn your nose up at this healthy vegetable. It also provides 3 grams fiber, 2 grams protein, and zero fat. And not all carbohydrates are the same. The glycemic index (GI) of pumpkin is 75, which is on the high side, but its glycemic load (GL) is a mere 3. This relates to the effect the carbohydrates have on your blood sugar. For more information on GI and GL, here's a good article that sums it up.
Spiced Pumpkin Soup - Cappuccino Style
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion slices, or coarsely chopped
- 2 15-ounce cans pumpkin puree, or when measured, 3 cups
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon raz el hanout spice or pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 cup Half and Half milk
- Warm the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, and add the onion. Cover the pot and sweat the onion until very tender, 5 - 10 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin puree and the remaining ingredients except for the Half and Half. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
- Use an immersible blender to blend the onions into the soup, or use a large blender or food processor and puree . If you use a blender or food processor, pour the soup back into the same pot to keep warm.
- Heat up the Half and Half without bringing it a boil. I use the microwave oven. Pour into a small mixing bowl and beat it with hand-held mixer until it becomes super-frothy.
- Pour the soup into small coffee cups and top with the frothy milk. I
If you're interested in more pumpkin eats and treats, you might want to check out these Pumpkin-Apple Sauce Muffins. They totally melt in your mouth!
And pumpkin puree is perfect for adding to bean soups like this Black Bean Chili for the Instant Pot. (Note-you don't need an Instant Pot to make it!)
Or if you're interested in a cake-like cookie – make these Pumpkin-Coconut Cookies, topped with a Cream Cheese Frosting.