One of the items that I get a LOT of from the food shelf is canned pumpkin. I love it. Canned pumpkin is an extremely versatile ingredient as it can be either sweet or savory. This recipe is one of my favorites that I have ever created. In the history of EVER… I cannot wait for you all to try it.
I cook for just me, so I tend to cook hearty single portions, and one can of pumpkin will give me three different recipes, hence the three ramikins in the photo. I then multiply the recipe and voila – a recipe that will feed a family of four.
I was very excited to find hot Italian sausage and fresh mushrooms at the food bank this week, but you could easily substitute sweet Italian sausage and canned mushrooms. Cooking the sausage, onion, and mushrooms before adding the pumpkin and broth lends a deeper flavor to the soup.
I was equally ecstatic to find two beautiful bread boules that I could transform into a bread bowl for this soup – it just takes this recipe right over the top as far as comfort food. This was a particularly good week as I also found the pumpkin seeds and a nice chunk of cheese at the food shelf as well. Put them all together – and you get this rather decadent soup.
Sausage, Pumpkin, and Cheddar Chowder
- ½ lb. hot Italian Sausage
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- ½ tsp garlic salt
- 1 15 oz. can pureed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 1½ cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 cup whole milk, ½ & ½, or cream
- 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese, plus extra for serving.
- 4 sourdough bread boules.
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
Crumble Italian sausage into a medium saucepan and brown. Stir in onion and mushrooms. Cook and stir until onions are clear and translucent. Stir in garlic salt, pumpkin, chicken stock, and sage. Bring soup to a boil. Stir in milk and cheddar cheese. Reduce heat to low. Continue to cook and stir until cheese is melted, but do not boil.
Slice tops off of bread boules and hollow them out to form soup bowls. (Save the insides, toast, and use as bread crumbs in another recipe) Pour soup into cavity. Top with pumpkin seeds and extra cheddar and serve immediately.
If you are not going to eat this right away, store soup in a microwave safe containter. Make bread bowls and fill with re heated soup just before serving. Do not store soup in bread bowl. You can also heat empty bread bowls in a 350 degree oven for 10 min if a crispy shell is desired.