Spicy White Pumpkin Soup for a Friendsgiving

Welcome to the Food ‘n Flix’ November film, FriendsgivingHeather (the founder of Food ‘n Flix) is hosting this month.  It’s good to have her back!

Friendsgiving is not a film I would have sought out.  I think the movie poster is a bit misleading.It’s misleading because Wanda Sykes is front and center at the top.  (She appears in about five minutes of the film.)  This film probably suffered from some editing problems (and maybe some conceptual issues).  It was fun to watch but I won’t be re-watching it or recommending it to friends.   Some of it was just too over-the-top.

Because the plot revolves around two friends (one divorced and one from a broken up relationship) who vow to spend Thanksgiving together, there is food involved.   Their small dinner for two soon morphs into a party for all their acquaintances and the list becomes longer.  Here’s what I spotted:

  • Turkey (but I won’t discuss the context or the visual)
  • Abby at the grocery store:  pecans (for the pie); wine (uncorked); cranberry juice.  Were those pickles that she grabbed (next to the frosting)?
  • Breakfast (mote pillo)
  • Pecan Pie
  • Bar cart (limes, whiskey, vodka, champagne, lots of wine)
  • Hostess gifts of cognac and whiskey
  • Oranges on the kitchen counter
  • Green bean casserole
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Stuffing
  • Fresh ceviche
  • Oranges
  • ‘shrooms
  • Cornbread
  • Tomatoes
  • Acai berry tart w/gluten-free chia seed crust
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Salad
  • Carrots
  • Rolls
  • Vegetable medley
  • Vodka
  • Lots and lots of wine
  • Ice cream
  • Macarons, chocolate chip cookies,  red velvet cupcakes, meringue cookies
  • Beer

The libations were liberally poured during the Freindsgiving feast as you can surmise.

I really wasn’t inspired by any dish (aside from the acai tart and the mote pillo).   I was pretty sure that I couldn’t pull of a chia seed crust and I’m not a huge hominy fan, so I decided to do something a bit more traditional—something with pumpkin.

After Halloween, I found a few pumpkins on sale—for 50 cents a piece.  I had to buy some to roast.   

These were “white” pumpkins (Pumpkins Lumina).  While I was writing this post, I was roasting them so it just made sense to utilize them for something Friendsgiving-like.  I was also spending part of the morning going through my November magazines (bon appetitFood & Wine, Southern Living, and Martha Stewart).

Here’s what I came up with.

Spicy White Pumpkin Soup

Debra (inspired by Spicy Blue Hubbard Squash Soup)

Spiced with coriander, cumin and cayenne with a zing of jalapenos.


  • 1 medium white pumpkin (Pumpkin Lumina)
  • 4 T. olive oil, divided
  • fine sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 c. onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, cored and de-seeded, sliced
  • 2 t. ground coriander
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • dash of cayenne
  • 4 c. vegetable broth
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk
  • garnishes: sliced jalapenos, crema, sour cream, cilantro, toasted pumpkin seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Cut pumpkin in half lengthwise (remove stem first).   Remove seeds and pulp with a ice cream scoop.  Drizzle 2 T. olive oil on cut sides of pumpkin and season with sea salt.  Place pumpkin halves, cut side down, on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.  Roast until pumpkin is tender, about 35-40 minutes.
  2. Remove pumpkin from oven, and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Remove skin and cube. Discard skin. Set pumpkin aside.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large stockpot over medium. Add onion, celery and jalapeno to pot. Cook, stirring often, until onion is tender and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add coriander, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne.  Stir to incorporate.  Add roasted pumpkin, vegetable broth and water to pot, and bring to a boil over medium. If the soup seems too think, add a cup more of water.  Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced and has thickened slightly, about 30 minutes.
  4. Remove pot from heat, and pour half of pumpkin mixture into a blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until smooth, about 1 minute; transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl or pan. Repeat process until all of the mixture has been pureed. Return to original cooking pan.  Bring  mixture to a simmer over low. Whisk in coconut milk and 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper into pumpkin mixture; cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  5. To serve, ladle soup into bowls.  Garnish as desired.

Yield: 8-12

This recipe adapted and changed as I cooked.   The original recipe (besides using a different kind of squash) also called for a leek.  I didn’t have any and I barely had enough onions.  I found some celery in the crisper and decided celery was a good choice for a Thanksgiving flavor.  I also added the jalapeno and the cayenne to the mix.   The original recipe also calls for cream.  I decided to go vegan and add coconut milk.

I garnished with sliced jalapenos, cilantro, and crumbled cojita.


I am totally cognizant of the fact that the holidays can be stressful on people.   One of the main characters in Friendsgiving remarks:

“The whole purpose of Thanksgiving–sugar and regrets.”


Sugar, yes.  But let’s make sure our only regrets are not having enough sugar this year.

Enjoy your holiday with family and friends!

Please join Food ‘n Flix in December.  I’m hosting The Family Stone.  Look for an announcement post here on December 1.

What is the recipe you are most looking forward to making for this year’s holidays?

I’m linking up with Deb’s Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen.  (Check out her most recent post on all things chili!)





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