Pumpkin Soup + Mustard Croutons

I’ve been meaning to make this ever since I came back from a Sprouted Kitchen food styling/photography workshop. It was hosted by Aran Goyoaga in her Seattle studio and I can’t say enough good things about the weekend. Sarah and Hugh discussed the creative and technical aspects of food photography while Aran prepared the food. She pretty much blew me away with her chef skills, she made a pumpkin-squash-leek soup that was outstanding, topped with mustard croutons which I had never had but knew I wanted to make. 

Much of the weekend was focused on finding your voice. In a world brimming over with food photographers and food stylists, the most unique thing you can offer is your own voice, your own vision. Which is interesting because we are always changing and growing, your voice today may not be quite the same as your voice ten years ago or ten years from now. But that’s part of the joy in discovery and experiences while dealing with challenges as well. Overall the workshop was inspiring and fun with some great vibes and great food.

The pumpkin soup recipe below is a variation on my Winter Squash Soup I posted a couple of years ago. I took a short cut using pumpkin puree, even with that it came out tasty. I had asked Aran about the mustard croutons, she said she used olive oil, 2 kinds of mustard and fresh herbs. I found a recipe from Ottolenghi which was similar so I just swapped out the melted butter with olive oil, and used the whole grain mustard in addition to the creamy dijon. They came out really good but I think Aran’s tasted a bit more spicy, so maybe go a bit heavier on the mustard?

Oh, and if you visit Seattle I recommend staying in the Queen Anne neighborhood, the views are spectacular! Below are some photos from the workshop as well.


Aran's studio was filled with great light!

Sarah and Hugh working on a shoot, Aran slicing banana bread she made, which was outstanding

The view from our patio in Queen Anne was spectacular! Now on to soup and croutons...


Pumpkin Soup + Mustard Croutons

Pumpkin Soup

  • 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 cans of pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, pumpkin puree and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. (Stir in cream-optional) bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)


Mustard Croutons

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • small loaf of boule bread or similar, cut into 1/2” pieces

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl whisk together the olive oil, mustards and fresh herbs, toss in the bread cubes until well coated. Spread a single layer on baking sheet, bake for 20-25 minutes until browned, tossing midway. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Can be stored in airtight container.

(adapted from Ottolenghi)