Pumpkin Chowder

The main ingredient of this dish is the pumpkin - perfect cooking ingredient for the Fall. I got inspired to cook with pumpkin by my friend M. who had such a fabulous halloween themed dinner on Halloween (bat pasta with a pumpkin sauce and pumpkin cider).

The most common pumpkin to use for cooking would be the small sugar pie pumpkin, the one that looks like a smaller version of the big pumpkins used for jack-o-lanterns. However, there are tons of different pumpkins and squashes that you can use and it could be fun to try some new ones. For this chowder I went and looked at all the different possible pumpkin and squashes. I ended up using a mix of sugar pie pumpkin, hubbard squash and sweet dumpling squash.

This is a recipe for a pumpkin chowder instead the pumpkin soup. A chowder is a vegetable or seafood stew, usually with added milk or cream. The difference to the soup is that the chowder is just a thicker soup with lots of good chunks in there.


  • olive oil
  • 1 leek - sliced
  • 3 garlic gloves - minced
  • 1 red pepper - chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper - in cubes
  • 1 green bell pepper - in cubes
  • 2 pounds of pumpkin - peeled, seeded and in cubes 
  • 2 teaspoon fresh marjoram - chopped
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste
  • garnishment: shaved pumpkin seeds (roasted and salted), parmesan cheese


For the chowder you do need to peel, seed and cube the pumpkin. The pumpkins/squashes are pretty hard and it took me longer than expected. I would suggest to do this first, so that you don't need to rush later.

Heat the oil in a big pot, add the sliced leeks and cook for about 5 minutes till they are soft. Then add the minced garlic and chopped red pepper and cook for 2 more minutes for the spices to open up their flavor. Add the cubed bell peppers and cook for 5 more minutes. Then add the pumpkin cubes, marjoram, bay leaves and corn. Stir and add the white wine. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and cook for 20-25 min till the pumpkin cubes are soft. Reduce heat, add cream and spice the mix to taste (salt, pepper, cayenne pepper). Do not boil with the cream in it, as it would separate.

Transfer 1/3 - 1/2 of the chowder to a blender and mix till smooth. Transfer it back to the chunky chowder still in the pot and mix. This will result in a creamy chowder, that will still have lots of flavorful chunks in it.

For garnishment I bought shaved pumpkin seeds, I quickly salted and roasted them at 350 degree for about 5 minutes. If you want to use the ones from your pumpkin you need to roast them and then peel them. You can also top the chowder of with some grated parmesan.

If you want to go all cutesy, you can by an extra small pumpkin and seed it and serve the soup in it :)

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1 comment:

  1. The recipe sounds great, I'll definitely try that - I'm always on the lookout for THE perfect pumpkin soup! I love the idea of having chunks of pumpkin in the chowder! Also, definitely much more photogenic than our bat pasta ;-)


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