Easy to make and the versatility of Smoked Pumpkin is almost endless. Smooth, creamy, delicious, and smoky, this Smoked Pumpkin Soup will warm you up from head to toe on a cold night.
Why Smoke a Pumpkin?
Smoking adds a new depth of flavor to whatever food you are preparing. Using the smoke to flavor your pumpkins before you put them in your final recipe gives you so many options. Once the pulp gets flavored, you can turn it into a puree for your smoked pumpkin butter, or your smoked pumpkin pie, or as we did, turn it into a delicious creamy soup for those festive holiday dinners or just a bowl of comfort on a cold night.
How to smoke pumpkins
It is very simple.
Step One: Cut your pumpkin open and remove all the pumpkin seeds. This can be easily done by either slicing it in half or taking the top off to give you access to the inside.
Step Two: Then simply use a large spoon to help scrape the pumpkin seeds out.
Step Three: Once they are cleaned out, put them into your smoker for about two hours. Smoking the pumpkins over your favorite flavored wood at 250°F for about two hours will give you nice tender flesh that you can use in so many different applications.
What Pumpkins are best for Smoking
I used sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins. These smaller pumpkins have a sweeter flavor, tend to have more flesh, and are less stringy and grainy than large pumpkins. This is ideal especially when you are planning to puree them for pies, butter, or soup. They will produce a much more pleasant consistency than the large monster carving pumpkins.
Since we were making smoked pumpkin soup, we wanted to be able to serve the soup in the actual pumpkin as well. I cut the tops off at about a quarter of the way down, then scraped out all the seeds.
Which type of smoker is best for Smoking Pumpkins
I placed the pumpkins in my smoker. I actually used my Traeger pellet grill to smoke the pumpkins at 250ºF for two hours. You can easily use a gas smoker or a stick burner if that is what you have. As far as the wood to use. I used pecan pellets but you can easily create your favorite blend with either pellets or wood chips or chunks. The key is to have indirect cooking heat for these. A gas grill or even a charcoal grill could char these too much if you have them over direct heat.
I placed them directly on the grill rack, if you want you can also place them on a rimmed baking sheet to smoke them. You will see the pumpkin skin around the top edge get softer and the pumpkin flesh will get fork tender. Once they are soft, remove them from the grill.
I recommend letting the pumpkins cool down a little before handling them. They will be very hot. Using a small knife and a large spoon, remove the pumpkin flesh from the skin, trying very carefully to leave the outer pumpkin shell intact. Be careful not to make a hole through the bottom. Keep scraping the pumpkin out until the outer shell is about ¼ inch thick. If you are just looking to make a puree, you can place the smoked pumpkin flesh directly into your blender. Add a little bit of moisture to create the puree. You can use cream, water, or stock. Once you have your pumpkin puree you can use it now or store it in the fridge or even the freezer for later use.
Ingredients for Smoky Pumpkin Soup
Smoked Pumpkin - Take the pumpkin flesh that you scraped out of your pumpkins and pack it into a measuring cup to measure it out. You will need about two sugar pumpkins to make enough soup to fill one of them for a great presentation.
Chicken Broth - If you want to keep this vegetarian you can also use a vegetable broth. This liquid is key to breaking down the pumpkin flesh into a smooth smoked pumpkin puree.
Heavy Whipping Cream - This gives a creamy flavor and texture to the soup. Sometimes I am a little heavy-handed when measuring this one out.
Balsamic Vinegar - To arrive at a perfect balance of flavor, you need an acid. The balsamic vinegar gives that great taste and balance to this soup.
Herbs and Seasonings - Here's where you can personalize your soup. I went with a blend of fresh herbs of rosemary, sage, and thyme. If you want more of a festive fall blend of spices go with nutmeg, paprika, and teaspoon cinnamon.
Corn Starch - This is used for helping to thicken the soup. Mix the corn starch well with cold water before adding it to the soup mixture.
How to Make Smoked Pumpkin Soup
Step One: Combine all the ingredients except the corn starch into your blender. Be sure to blend it well until smooth.
Step Two: Pour mixture from the blender into a large saucepan and warm over medium-high heat and add the corn starch and water mixture. You do not need it to boil.
Step Three: Continue to stir over medium heat and allow to thicken for about 10 minutes. If you aren't ready to serve, you can leave the soup over low heat for a longer time. Be sure to add a little salt and pepper to taste.
How to serve Smoked Pumpkin Soup
To serve, use the pumpkin shell as I did as a bowl and ladle it from there, or pour it into a large bowl to serve from. Ladle it into a bowl or cup. You can garnish it with more fresh herbs or a dusting of cinnamon for a more festive presentation.
Looking for some desserts to go with your smoked pumpkin soup?
- 2 sugar pumpkins cut ¼ of the way down, seeds removed
Smoked Pumpkin Soup
- 2.5 cups pumpkin puree
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon fresh herbs
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch + ¼ cup water (sub 1 teaspoon xanthan gum for keto)
- Preheat the smoker to 250. Smoke the pumpkins for 2 hours or until fork-tender.
Smoked Pumpkin Soup
- Combine all the ingredients except the cornstarch in a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer to a saucepan and heat until warm over medium-high heat. Add the cornstarch/water mixture or xanthan gum.
- Heat until the soup is hot and thickens for about 10 minutes.