Pumpkin and Chorizo Soup

I figure it’s safe to post a pumpkin recipe now. For a while there (all of October and November) I thought I was going to drown in pumpkin-flavored products. Is it just me, or are they becoming more and more prominent every year? Regardless, pumpkin soup is a hearty, warming way to enjoy the cold months of fall and winter, and I didn’t want to let spring hit me before sharing this recipe.

Like many foods we enjoy today, pumpkins are a product of the New World, and entered Europe in the 15th century. Most foods introduced during that time took a while to gain momentum in Europe – sometimes hundreds of years – but not the pumpkin. Because they resembled gourds and squashes common in the Old World, pumpkins were readily adopted and prized for their robust flavor and easy cultivation. It was quickly made into various soups, and mixed with honey and spices as early as the 17th century – a precursor to pumpkin pie.

For today’s recipe I wanted to keep pumpkin closer to its place of origin – North America – so I decided to focus on a Mexican soup commonly referred to as Sopa de Calabaza, often flavored with cumin and chorizo sausage. I really like the cyclical nature of this dish. Cumin was first cultivated in India and introduced to the Americas by the Portuguese and Spanish. Chorizo is the best of both worlds: Old World sausage flavored with paprika made by New World peppers, and later re-introduced to the Americas. So this dish is the product of the unique culinary marriage of these two continents and cultures.

While pre-roasting a whole pumpkin inevitably lends more depth of flavor, using canned pumpkin puree drastically cuts down on your cooking time and effectively turns this dish into a 30-minute meal.

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano (regular/Mediterranean oregano okay)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 15oz cans pumpkin puree
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 lb fresh ground chorizo sausage
salt and black pepper to taste (about 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper)
fresh cilantro to garnish, chopped

For this recipe I used bison chorizo sausage, newly stocked from US Wellness Meats, which was a little more lean than your typical pork chorizo and had a deep, robust flavor. Any other chorizo will do fine! Along those same lines, Mexican oregano is different from the oregano most commonly found in supermarkets, and has a bit of a lemon taste to it. Again, regular oregano will do fine, but if you have both, I’d use the Mexican variety.

1. Warm the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or dutch oven on medium heat for one minute. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and sauté until aromatic, about 30 seconds.

2. Add the pumpkin puree and chicken broth, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes to allow flavors to marry.

3. As the soup simmers, sauté the chorizo in a separate pan over medium heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes, then set aside.

4. Blend the soup until smooth and return to the skillet (alternatively, use an immersion blender). It should be thick but not overly so (think tomato or split pea soup) – if it’s too thick, add a little water. Stir in almost all of the chorizo, then season to taste. Divide the soup into 4 bowls and scatter with chopped cilantro and the reserved chorizo, then serve.

75 thoughts on “Pumpkin and Chorizo Soup

  1. Made this today for lunch. OMG. Delicious! I love chorizo and this hit the spot on a snowy afternoon. Thank you for the recipe!


  2. This is definitely something I have to try…I love both chorizo and pumpkin! It definitely feels like pumpkin products (especially pumpkin spice things) were all over the place this past fall.


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  4. I love all savory things pumpkin! Pumpkin pie/muffins/ice cream don’t cut it for me, but this is beautiful and right up my alley. We actually have venison chorizo in the fridge, as well as a can of pumpkin puree, I can’t wait to whip this up to combat all the “polar vortex” mess we’re getting right now.


  5. I’m always trying to put a spin on pumpkin soup – I’ve tried adding ginger, fish sauce, sriracha, cumin, carmelized onions… you name it. But CHORIZO is sooo genius. God I need to make this soon.


  6. can’t wait to try this!! i am going to see some packaged sausages just because i can never find loose sausage where i am.


    1. Loved this!! I added some chopped avocado on top since mine was a little spicy. The cilantro was a perfect and necessary touch!


  7. I made this with kabocha squash instead of pumpkin and it is amazing! Kept everything else the same. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It’s so unbelievably creamy without any cream or butter :)


  8. Waah!…I am stumped as to what to use here in France for fresh chorizo…Would merguez sausage possibly work..or?!…Dried/cooked chorizo is quite easily obtained…Any substitution suggestions? Thank you in advance for any enlightenment!…This soup simply beckons with the fall weather finally upon us! Merci bien!


  9. This recipe is perfect. We’ve made it a few times with a whole roasted pumpkin; have not tried canned pumpkin yet. Thank you, oh Great Domestic Man.


  10. I had a pumpkin and chorizo soup in Oct while out of town and omg this recipe tastes just like it! The only tweaks I did was adding a cup more of broth, using a tiny bit more oregano since I didnt have marjoram and used a shake of paprika. I doubled the recipe (as I usually do). It’s so tasty, thanks!


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