Here are the 6 best pumpkin soups in Brooklyn
With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving just around the corner, pumpkin season is in full swing. Styling stoops, infiltrating coffee shops, and stuffing pies and sweets alike, the orange veggie is the ideal addition to any fall table.
The pumpkin is the symbol of harvest time and is most often classified in the dessert family.
But, the early colonists’ version of pumpkin “pie” did not resemble the pastry crusted temptation we have come to know at all, but more that of a soup crafted by pureeing the insides of the pumpkin and serving it inside its own casing. (A fully compostable meal, by the way.)
Gourd bisques are also integral parts of South African and Caribbean cuisines and were a staple dish for prisoners of war in North Vietnamese prison camps during the Vietnam War. Point blank, pumpkin soup has been around for some time, and it isn’t going anywhere soon.
If you love the idea of celebrating seasonal shifts through culinary action, but do not have the sweet tooth required to enjoy extreme amounts of pumpkin pastries — or pumpkin spice lattes (that’s another story) — there is hope.
The savory and sweet crossover soup of the season is being featured in more and more restaurants around the borough, and we took the liberty of testing some of them. Here are the top six we tasted.
LuAnne’s Wild Ginger
112 Smith St., Boerum Hill
235 Dekalb Ave., Fort Greene
676 Franklin Ave., Crown Heights
Pumpkin Soup: $6
LuAnne’s vegan haven features a pumpkin soup filled with chunks of kabocha, yam and pumpkin that soak in a thin, sweet pumpkin broth with white beans. Less of a puree and more of a brothy soup, this dish would be an excellent vegetarian substitute for the chicken noodle soup we crave when under the weather. Garnished with cilantro that complements the otherwise semi-sweet concoction with a small tang, this soup is a year-round offering for a reason.
(Side note: The Kimchee Pumpkin Gumbo looked delicious too.)
178 N 8th St., Williamsburg
Pumpkin Corn Soup with Dumplings: $8.00
The thick and buttery pumpkin soup at Pearl’s is a can’t miss. The filling bowl contains both flour dumplings and sweet corn that make the perfect partners to cut the pimento-spiced pumpkin puree. The soup is creamy and textured to perfection with enough pulp to give you the mouthful you are looking for, but not enough to make you wish you had brought floss. It is topped with cilantro’s stronger relative culantro and makes for the ultimate comfort-in-a-bowl pick-me-up.
62 5th Ave., Park Slope
Pumpkin Soup: $9.00
Pumpkin pie’s closest liquid relative resides at BK9 in Park Slope. This Caribbean stew is super sweet due to the addition of coconut — with a gritty-in-a-good-way texture — and even comes with an edible flower. Spiced pumpkin seeds add a delicate crunch to every bite of the otherwise evenly creamy soup. Topped with raisins that melt in your mouth after brewing in hot soup, this dish could definitely qualify as dessert.
480-500 Van Brunt St., Red Hook
2149 Ralph Ave., Bergen Beach
Pumpkin Bisque: $9.99
For those weeknights when you just cannot be bothered with making dinner, or bearing the cold, Fairway’s eclectic collection of pre-made soups are a lifesaver. For fall, the market “like no other market” has revealed a line of pumpkin themed products including a delicious pumpkin bisque. The soup has a flawless salty to sweet ratio and a brilliant thick texture. We would definitely recommend picking a couple of quarts up and freezing them for later seasons, as this soup is so much more than fall. Tip: We spiced ours up with fresh cilantro, pepitas and craisins.
5015 10th Ave. Sunset Park
Pumpkin soup with fresh mushrooms: Small $5.95 Large $19.95
Known for their extensive vegetarian menu, Bodai’s dim sum and family style offerings make it the quintessential place to seek comfort in food. One of their most popular dishes is a soup made by steaming and blending Japanese pumpkins, also known as kabocha. (It’s a close, but smaller and saltier relative to the traditional pumpkin). Fresh enokitake, crimini and thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms add a delicate umami flavor to the salty broth. Grab some friends and share the large bowl, or take advantage of their stellar lunch deal ($7.50 for an entree + rice) that comes with a bowl of the kabocha stew.
Beets and Carrots
9905 3rd Ave., Bay Ridge
Autumn Squash Soup: $8.50
Beets and Carrots’ quaint kitchen boasts farm-to-table food and that truth lies in the taste of its quality ingredients. The beautifully plated Autumn squash soup contains a blend of butternut squash and pumpkin, sourced from Satur Farms, making it the model soup for snuggle season. The thin and buttery broth is decorated with pumpernickel crostinis, roasted pumpkin seeds and sage infused olive oil. Tip: Use their homemade bread to soak up every last bit.
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