Forbidden Foods

There are very few things I won’t eat, but certainly some I don’t seek out.  Springing to mind are bananas and peanut butter, both which have a strong smell component I have to steel against to eat.  When my darling sister posts a blog which features one of these ingredients, I always read the posting because she’s a gifted writer, and then pass on trying out the recipe.  This past week she posted a NutterButter sandwich cookie look alike recipe and she got me.  For some reason I like those things.  A lot!  I needed to make them.

Lest you think I am the only errant one in the family grapenuts bunch with food “issues,” my sister’s family has an aversion to things I feel quite an affection for.  Don’t feed them watermelon, peaches, green peas (“little green dirt balls” by some accounts) and definitely don’t serve pumpkin.  Lynn regularly sends me recipes with the orangey squash goodness, but doesn’t make any of them herself.  It’s her sisterly way of showing she loves me, while not offending her own palate.  Oh yes, she also doesn’t like coconut.

Today’s post is a doff of the cap to my sister, with the hope that, as with the Nutter Butter cookies, I have made something which will tempt her out of her no pumpkin ways.  The fact that the peanut mixture could in some ways resemble peanut butter might help!

We have served this as an opening course on Thanksgiving, following the admonition to eat dessert first.  It definitely isn’t pumpkin pie, but a wonderfully rich, smooth soup that has always earned rave reviews.

A bowl full of silky, spicy goodness with an occasional peanut crunch!
A bowl full of silky, spicy goodness with an occasional peanut crunch!

Peanut Pumpkin Puddle

Adapted from Gourmet

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups canned solid pack pumpkin
  • 2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup Phad Thai powdered peanut mixture*
  • 1 can coconut milk **
  • Ground nutmeg (optional)

*Taste of Thai Peanut mix and coating is sold at Cash and Carry in the Seattle area, but we have a significant Asian population so some ingredients are not difficult.  Check their online presence which you can order from, or find a store at the bottom of the page, based on your zip code in the US.

**Canned unsweetened coconut milk is sold at Indian, Southeast Asian and Latin American markets and at many supermarkets.


Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Add pumpkin, broth, sugar, allspice and crushed red pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer until flavors blend, about 30 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth or use an immersion blender. Return soup to pot. Bring soup to simmer, thinning with coconut milk to desired consistency. Add peanut sauce mix and season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm soup before continuing.) Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with nutmeg or garnish with cilantro and serve.


5 thoughts on “Forbidden Foods

  1. So that’s what it takes to get you to eat peanut butter – mix it with pumpkin?

    I’ve actually widened my pumpkin repertoire beyond pie. One of Bruce’s favorites is the pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Just don’t try to put coconut on it. Or peas.


    1. Mmmm – will you share the roll recipe?

      We had fights this morning over who got to eat the rest of the soup.

      I had a thought as I was trying to serve dinner last night, of Samuel, asking if you needed to take a picture of his hot dog before he ate. I felt the same way — we can’t eat till it’s been staged and photographed. What have you done to me??? 😀


  2. Diane, this soup sounds really good. I’d love all that as long as that green bit floating on top was not coriander. That is a huge aversion in my book! Don’t we all have them?

    I thought Lynn did like coconut because she made that macaroon cookie quest and coconut was in them. She said she loved them. I wonder how that works?

    My husband hates pumpkin but he loves pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin brioche…just don’t put chunks of it in a risotto, or there will be words! He probably would hate this soup. Which means there is more for me!


    1. It was cilantro, which is what we call the plant which the coriander seed comes from, but we love it. We also sprinkled toasted coconut on top when we actually served it, so that would be another option. One of the responders to the original recipe said they used more coconut milk to “draw” a pumpkin on top. That is a serious food stager!

      The macaroons were OK because it was finely ground – I think most of the coconut aversion in Lynn’s house is because of texture.

      Spring some of the soup on Ian, just don’t tell him what he’s eating. He might love it!

      2 BTW’s – we finished off the last of the crumpet attempts this morning, so now I can make a new batch and serve them fresh. I’m excited.

      Also, did Lynn pass on to you that Steve really enjoyed hearing your cricket story, so much that he had to regale me with “polishing the ball.” There are some things, like Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunctions and grown men rubbing a cricket ball …. well let’s just say they are wrong 😀


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