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Pumpkin and Yam Soup with Spiced Crème Fraîche Recipe

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Total Time: Under 2 Hours
Skill Level: Moderate
Cost: Inexpensive
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Pumpkin and Yam Soup with Spiced Crème Fraîche

Photo by: Joseph De Leo

A great soup for fall--almost a subtle take on pumpkin pie--this combines the deep flavor of yams with the lighter vegetable taste of pumpkin. It has a burnished orange color, and the subtle hint of cinnamon is reinforced by a spicy crème fraîche garnish.

Yield: Makes 3 quarts, or 12 servings


For the spiced crème fraîche:

  • ½ cup Crème Fraîche
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the soup:

  • 1½ pounds yams (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • 1¾ pounds peeled pumpkin, cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • 8 cups Chicken Stock or low-salt canned chicken broth, plus an extra 2 cups, if needed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1½ cups crème fraîche or heavy cream, heated to just below boiling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the spiced crème fraîche:

Combine the crème fraîche, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon in a small bowl, beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks, and reserve.

For the soup:

In the pot, the stock should cover the vegetables by about 1½ inches. Yams thicken the soup (pumpkin alone wouldn’t do it) and no other thickener is needed.

Place the yams and pumpkin in a large pot over medium-high heat, cover with 8 cups of the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes.

Pour the cooked vegetables and stock into a food processor or blender and puree until it has the consistency of heavy cream. Strain through a fine strainer and return to the saucepan. Add the spices, heated crème fraîche, and additional stock if needed to thin. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately, garnished with a dollop of spiced crème fraîche.


Make with all yams and no pumpkin or all or part butternut squash.

Delete the crème fraîche for a less rich soup.


Order of preparation:

• Prepare the soup.

• Prepare the spiced crème fraîche.

Make-ahead notes:

• Crème fraîche can be refrigerated up to 10 days, or substitute a good-quality purchased crème fraîche.

• The spiced crème fraîche can be refrigerated up to 24 hours.

• The soup can be refrigerated up to 3 days; do not freeze.

© 1996 Debra Ponzek and Joan Schwartz

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information includes 1 teaspoon of added salt, but does not include Crème Fraîche or Chicken Stock. For nutritional information on Crème Fraîche or Chicken Stock, please follow the links above.

84kcal (4%)
24mg (2%)
15mg (26%)
245mcg RAE (8%)
0mg (0%)
200mg (8%)
0g (0%)
0g (0%)
1mg (5%)

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