soup season has arrived.

hearty winter soup, with pumpkin seed demi-loaf

I am a huge soup nut. As such, even 40C weather doesn’t stop me from indulging in soupy delights. But there’s something about the chill and damp of your typical Vancouver autumn that makes soup particularly belly-warming at this time of year.

My husband doesn’t feel quite so passionate about soup as I, so we unfortunately don’t have very many such recipes in our repertoire. But huzzah, my mother-in-law does, and sent one over to us just as I was staring blankly at my inbox, wondering what to make for dinner that evening.

My mother-in-law’s recipe is a lively assortment of pumpkin, chicken, red bell pepper, corn, and spices. It was quick and super easy to make, as long as you have strong husbands / hands to help you dice up a gourd (essential if you have weak little arms like mine). Our grocery didn’t have any pumpkin on hand, so we substituted butternut squash with excellent results. Mom says that sweet potato would also work if neither squash are available.

Our verdict: stewy, hearty, comforting goodness! The squash, corn, and bell pepper lent a pleasant sweetness to the mix. Loved the added depth that the cumin and chili powder delivered. Kurt and I oohed and aahed our way to the bottoms of our bowls. Seconds were a foregone conclusion. And there were still another 4 servings left over, which we have reserved for future cold evenings that call out for chowder and a crusty loaf of bread for dipping.

Mom said it’s okay to share this recipe with all of you, so here it is! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Pumpkin and Chicken Chowder


hearty winter soup, up close

  • 1.5 lbs boneless chicken thighs, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 leeks, white & light green parts only, washed thoroughly and thinly sliced
  • 2 lbs pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or a 900mL tetrapack)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • Sour cream, for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and sauté the chicken and leeks.
  2. Add the pumpkin or squash and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the flour and seasonings over the ingredients in the pot and stir and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broth and corn and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add the red pepper and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
  6. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with sour cream if desired.

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