How to Make It
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add pumpkin, apples, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 25 minutes or until pumpkin and apples are tender.
While soup cooks, combine pepitas, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook 7 minutes or until sugar melts and pepitas are toasted, stirring often. Transfer to a plate; cool completely, breaking up any clumps.
Place half of pumpkin mixture in a blender, remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape). Secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters); blend until smooth. Place soup in a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining pumpkin mixture. Pour in apple cider, and reheat in pan if needed. Divide soup evenly among 8 bowls; sprinkle evenly with pepitas.
Thai Coconut-Pumpkin Soup: Add 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red curry paste in step 1. Omit cinnamon; instead add 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger with the pumpkin and apples in step 1. Omit apple cider; instead add 3/4 cup light coconut milk and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Omit pepitas, sugar, and salt in step 2; instead sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons cilantro before serving. Serve with lime wedges. Serves 8 (serving size: about 3/4 cup) CALORIES 147; FAT 5.3g (sat 1.6g, mono 2.5g, poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 4g; CARB 23g; FIBER 2g; SUGAR 5g (est. added sugars 0g); CHOL 0mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 253mg; CALC 24mg
Chipotle-Spiced Pumpkin Soup: Increase cinnamon to 1/2 teaspoon. Add 1 finely chopped seeded chipotle chile canned in adobo sauce to apples and pumpkin in step 1. Omit apple cider; instead add 1/4 cup water. Omit pepitas, sugar, and salt in step 2; instead garnish with 1 ounce thinly sliced and slivered Spanish chorizo, cooked in a small skillet over medium-low heat until crisp. Serves 8 (serving size: about 3/4 cup) CALORIES 147; FAT 5g (sat 0.8g, mono 2.9g, poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 4g; CARB 23g; FIBER 3g; Sugars 6g (est. added sugars 0g); CHOL 0mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 225mg; CALC 27mg