Sensuously evocative of glorious autumn days, pumpkin soup warms the heart, fills the belly and is loved by all. Here, the thick and creamy texture snuggles up against the wild mushroom and minced beef crumble, which adds further nutritional density to it’s bone broth base. It’s easy to make in the Instant Pot, and just as simple on the stove.
Pumpkin Soup with Crumbled Ground Beef and Wild Mushroom
Looking for the recipe? Scroll all the way down.
Pumpkin seeds are tough little buggers. Along with those of tomatoes, they somehow survive the hot fermentation of our compost, and remain unaffected by the wriggling organisms who live there. Last spring, pumpkin and tomato plants sprung up everywhere. I didn’t bother buying tomato plants, and our harvest was excellent. I would never have contemplated trying to grow pumpkin. We don’t have a lot of room, and we certainly don’t have an enormous mound of fresh manure, but – why not? – we let a plant grow, and trained it along the fence and up onto Lina’s old clothes line. Well, what do you know? From a hundred flowers, two fat pumpkins decided to grow. They slowly swelled and ripened as the vine leaves gradually shrivelled and fell. A couple of weeks ago we snapped them off, and proudly carried them upstairs. One, we cooked in the Instant Pot, and ate it in various ways. The second was made into this soup. They didn’t disappoint, and their colour, as you can see, was intense.
Adding crumbled ground beef to pumpkin soup was, we thought, a strike of genius. Adding wild mushrooms to the mix seemed so natural, considering both pumpkins and mushrooms come into glory at the same time. Our mushrooms, admittedly, are foraged at the market, not in the forests and fields. Fiorenzo’s brother and his wife are passionate about ‘the quiet hunt’, but we’re not so competitive. Here, you need a license for foraging, and you need to get up early – really early – in order to beat the others at the game. But, more importantly, we’re simply not informed. Sure, we know when we’ve stumbled upon a magic mushroom, but distinguishing between the delicious and the deadly is not always straight forward. Those on the right of the image below, for example, I have no idea about. So, in our case, it’s better to buy. And that’s no problem: at this time of year, the markets are full of beautiful, intriguing varieties. The one’s I used for the soup, in our region, are called pioppini. Find some that are similar: stout, with tight caps and slender stems that will hold onto their form as they’re cooking.
The Secret to a Great Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkin soup is so simple, but to make it great, there is a trick. You need bone broth. A good, rich, gelatinous homemade bone broth. In fact, that’s the secret to any great soup, pumpkin or otherwise. Start with a flavour filled stock, and build on that. If the stock is already brilliant, you won’t need to add much more. I don’t cook with onions, for example, but because of the rich base stock, we never notice it’s absence. Celery, a carrot, chives and salt. And pumpkin. A whole, medium sized pumpkin. That’s all.
The ingredients for the crumble are equally as simple: freshly minced rosemary and parsely, salt, ground beef, and those little mushrooms. Fry up the crumble separately, and if you need to reheat it later, just add a little oil.
Simple ingredients. Magical synergy.
In the Instant Pot, or On the Stove?
In the Instant Pot, the pumpkin soup will take just 5 minutes of high pressure. If you’re cooking on the stove top, bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 15. In both cases, once the pumpkin and the carrot are soft, blend it all to velvety smooth. I use an immersion blender so I don’t have to transfer bubbling soup to a blender and back again.
This is wonderful as a light supper on an evening when you don’t want to eat too much, or any time when you want to feel warm and nourished from the inside out. Breakfast, for example. Could be good.
On the Side
How to Make a Great Bone Broth – This is my go-to recipe for a great tasting onion and garlic free bone broth. You’ll need an Instant Pot.
Creamy Spinach Soup – Another one of our cold-month favourites. It’s the cauliflower which makes it creamy.
A Paleo Apple Cake to Make Your Heart Sing – Because new season apples arrive alongside the pumpkins and mushrooms.
This recipe has been shared on the AIP Recipe Roundtable.
I hope you love this twist on Pumpkin Soup. If you happen to make it, don’t forget to take a snap and tag me on Instagram – it’s so great to see your creations. And if you do love it, please rate it!
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- 500 grams / 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley
- 200 grams small fresh wild mushrooms, stems cleaned
- 1 medium sized pumpkin, seeded, peeled and chopped into 3cm/1inch chunks (1.5 kilos / 3 pounds whole pumpkin)
- 1 celery stalk, roughly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh chives
- 500 mls bone broth
- ½ cup water
- gross iodized sea salt
- Place the ground beef, rosemary, parsley and ½ teaspoon sea salt into a medium sized frypan. Over a low-medium heat, continue to stir and break up the beef until it has crumbled and is browned. Add the mushrooms, gently mix through, and continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
- Place the pumpkin, celery, carrot, chives, bone broth, water and 2 teaspoons sea salt into the Instant Pot or into a large pot.
- If using the Instant Pot, secure the lid, turn the valve to 'Sealing', and set the Manual function to 5 minutes. When the timer sounds, allow to the pressure to release naturally.
- If using a saucepan on the stovetop, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and maintain a simmer for 15 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, whiz the soup to a velvety consistency,
- If necessary, reheat the ground beef and wild mushroom crumble, adding a little olive oil if desired.
- Ladel the hot pumpkin soup into pre-warmed bowls, and top with the crumble.
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