Pumpkin seed and arugula bisque

Pumpkin seed arugula soup

There’s something wrong with my refrigerator. It freezes the vegetables in my vegetable drawers. I’ve tried adjusting humidity and tampering with the temperature, but to no avail! But it turns out to be another one of those happy accidents, because my malfunctioning veg drawers started a short but winding path that resulted in this soup! I accidentally left a container of baby arugula and a head of red leaf lettuce at the bottom of one of the drawers. They didn’t stand a chance! As I looked at my clump of translucent, wilty greens (strangely pretty, as it happens) I immediately thought of soup meagre. It’s one of our favorite soups here at The Ordinary, and perfect for any damaged green thing you might have in your vegetable drawer.

Earlier in the week, whilst browsing in the bulk food section of the grocery store, as one does, these beautiful shiny green seeds caught my magpie eye. I had to have some! I’ve tried roasting pumpkin seeds every halloween, with the coating on, and they always turn out a little too tough to eat. Here was the tender core! Oh boy. Pepita. So pretty! I vaguely remembered that pepita are used in a certain kind of mole, so I hopped it back to the produce section and bought myself a jalapeno pepper.

Flash forward to the soup meagre. My one rule about soup meagre (and a very flexible rule it is, too!) is that everything that goes in there should be green. Well, guess what! Pepita are green! Jalapenos are green…can you see where this is going?

This turned out to be one of the better soups I’ve ever made. (And I’ve made a lot of soup!) The taste of pumpkin seeds is hard to describe. Nutty, savory, pleasant in every way! And they’re very good for you too, apparently! Full of iron, which is a big concern of vegetarian moms everywhere!

Here’s Pepita by Calexico.

2 T olive oil
1 jalapeno, fangs and claws removed (seeds and veins) finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 plump clove garlic, minced
1 t sage
1 t oregano
1 t basil
cayenne to taste
1/3 cup white wine
1 cup of pumpkin seed kernals – toasted and ground as finely as you can
4 cups arugula and or lettuce
1 zucchini, chopped in small dice
Juice of half a lime, or to taste
knob of butter (unless you’re vegan!)
salt and plenty of black pepper

Warm the olive oil in a large soup pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and herbs. Cook a minute or two. Add the garlic. Add the zucchini and cook till it’s slightly soft and starting to brown. Add the white wine and cook till it’s a bit reduced and syrupy. Add the lettuce/arugula, roughly chopped. Stir and cook. Add the ground pumpkinseed kernals. Stir and cook. Add 1 t. salt and water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, till the zucchini is nice and soft.

Add lime juice, butter, if using, and plenty of pepper.

Blend in small batches (careful! Hold the lid on!) till it’s smooth and light green and velvety.


3 thoughts on “Pumpkin seed and arugula bisque

  1. Hi, wow, this soup looks great!

    I’m wondering if you can provide some guidance as to how much soup this makes? Perhaps in cups? It’s hard for me to guess serving size because it just says “water to cover”, and I’m unsure how much volume I’d end up with. Thanks!

    • Hello, other Claire!

      I think the soup made about 8 cups. Maybe a little less. I need to do a better job of noticing how much everything makes! My husband and I and one of our sons ate it for dinner one night (the little one wouldn’t try it!) and we had enough left for one big bowl for lunch the next day.

      So, judging by the measurements inside my soup pan, it was 7 or 8 cups. You can add or subtract water according to the volume of greens you have, and how thin or thick you like your bisque! Sorry to be so vague.

      Thanks! If you have any more questions, please let me know.


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