Are You Going to ‘Scarborough Fair?’ Roasted Pumpkin and Garlic Soup for Meatless Monday


Roasted Garlic and Pumpkin Soup with Parsley, Sage Rosemary and Thyme

How can a seasonal fall soup and Simon and Garfunkel tunes possibly have any connection? Hey! How can they not? I’m a child of the ’70s! With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, I’m Feeling Groovy!

Picture this scene: Gymnasium packed with high school students. Lights go out. Music blares.  Hello, Darkness my old Friend . . .  I’ve come to talk with you again . . . Pom Pom girls in full body black leotards are arranged in a row. Flashlights on, illuminating red tissue paper ‘flames’ taped to their tops. Dance begins. Such was the scene in 1972 in my high school gymnasium. And I was one of those pom-pomming fake flame holders. And, yes, we did the whole routine in complete darkness. True believers we were.

Fast forward nearly 40 years to a new scene: Since I began my love affair with cooking and recipe developing, the melodious phrase I often hummed back then — “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme” from Scarborough Fair — has taken on a whole new significance. OK, Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon: Which one of you was a fabulous cook? Because only an experienced cook would appreciate the perfect medley that these four intensely aromatic herbs create in synergy. The four of them create a magical taste – a beautiful medley and melody.

Pumpkin soups are most plentiful – lots to choose from to fit your cooking personality.

This version makes a fabulous first course for your Thanksgiving meal, so if you’ve got leftover pumpkins on your porch, I suggest you RUN out and get one and get this soup going – it is the best pumpkin soup I’ve ever eaten! Pumpkins are uber-healthy and are practically FREE right now – many grocery stores will give them away after Halloween is over.

Happy Meatless Monday Everyone!


2 pounds peeled pumpkin, cut into large chunks
1 bulb garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large onion, diced
Leaves from 2 or 3 sprigs of thyme
Leaves from 1 large sprig of rosemary
1 or 2 sage leaves, diced
2 tablespoons minced parsley
3 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss pumpkin in 1 tablespoon of oil and spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Cut top off of garlic bulb, place bulb in center of a square of aluminum foil and drizzle with a little olive oil. Wrap bulb up, sealing completely. Place wrapped bulb on baking sheet. Bake the pumpkin and garlic for one hour. Remove and let cool. Remove skin from pumpkin pieces.

Saute the onion in a stockpot in remaining oil until translucent. Add in herbs and cook another minute. Add in broth and roasted pumpkin. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of the cooked bulb and add to pot. Simmer for 20 minutes or so, until slightly reduced.

Blend with a stick blender or in batches in a blender. (NOTE: At this point, you can strain the soup for a more refined texture, but I like it rustic. Your choice!) Add sour cream, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Optional garnishes: pepitas, smoked paprika, sour cream swirl.

Other intriguing pumpkin soups:
Pumpkin Soup, Guilty Kitchen
Pumpkin Soup, Use Real Butter
Apple Pumpkin Soup, Eclectic Recipes
Carrot Pumpkin Soup, Jane Spice
Pumpkin Soup, Gluten Free Easily
Pumpkin Soup, Daily Bread Journal
Curried Pumpkin Soup, Ezra Pound Cake
Pumpkin Soup with Gruyere, Merry Gourmet
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup, Framed Cooks
Roasted Pumpkin Soup, My Kitchen Snippets

— posted by Donna


  1. says

    Thanks, and for any readers that are having difficulty chopping onions without the crying, here’s an incredibly simple tip – put them in the fridge for a few hours, then chop them straight away after taking them out! No more tears! I found some more onion soup recipes here if anyone wants to try some more recipes.

  2. Wendy Altenhof says

    Unfortunately, fresh herbs are anything but frugal by the time the pumpkins are plentiful. My herb garden has been killed by frost, and it would cost me $10 to buy the 4 herbs at my grocery store.

    I may still give it a try with dried herbs.

    • says

      VERY good point, Wendy! You only use a little, but you do have to buy a whole bunch at the store to get just a few tablespoons of herbs. I’ll bet you will have good results with the dried herbs!

      • Wendy Altenhof says

        I wanted to report that 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, and 1/2 tsp dried sage was far too much seasoning. (Apparently my estimte of 1 1/2 tsp of fresh herbs was high?)

        I broke up the rosemary in my pestle, and rehydrated the rosemary, thyme and 1 T of dried parsley flakes in a small dish before adding everything to the onions. The final soup is intensely herby- sort of like trying to drink a chimichuri.

        I’m going to try stretching the soup with some rinsed chickpeas serving it over rice to see if the herb intensity can be diluted to an edible level.

    • says

      Barbara – One of my favorite food quotes: “Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger, eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite.” Auguste Escoffier. There’s nothing more comforting than soup in the fall!

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