That's Nuts: Do Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Work Together?

That's Nuts

A weekly dose of nutty history, pop culture, and recipes from Lee Zalben, aka The Peanut Butter Guy.

Note: Lee Zalben, a.k.a. "the Peanut Butter Guy" is the creator of the Peanut Butter & Co., a New York sandwich shop with a national line of nut butters. Every week he chimes in with some nuttiness.


[Photograph: Lee Zalben]

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Soup

View the complete recipe here >>

Peanut butter and pumpkin. The two sound nice together in theory, but how do they taste?

I've made peanut butter pumpkin pies and a peanut-pumpkin seed brittle before—both of which were delicious. Everyone always expects The Peanut Butter Guy to have some kind of peanut-inspired dish on his holiday table.

This year I wanted to try to steer things in a more savory direction so I thought about soup. I've prepared African peanut soup before using a tomato and sweet potato base, so a peanut and pumpkin soup seemed like a natural extension of that recipe.

Usually I do most of my cooking and baking from scratch. I like to get my hands dirty with raw ingredients. But in this case, I will confess—I use the pumpkin from a can.

I've never roasted fresh pumpkin to make my own puree before. The stuff in a can is pretty good and it just seems like a lot of work to start with fresh pumpkin, even for a "from scratch" guy like me. But this recipe I go one step further. I'm not just using canned pumpkin, I'm using canned pumpkin pie filling. Pre-sweetened and pre-spiced, I made this decision for a few reasons.

  • Most people making Thanksgiving dinner are pretty stressed. The focus needs to be on "the bird" and all of the baked sides. This is an easy 20 minute throw-together recipe, perfect for when someone reneges on their offer to bring an appetizer or a side. So I forced myself to keep it simple with as few ingredients as possible.
  • Everyone always seems to have some of this stuff left over at the end of the holidays.
  • If you're a purist, you can always use homemade pumpkin puree or plain canned pumpkin, then add your own blend of spices and a little honey or sugar to the soup for added sweetness.

So without further ado, here's Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Soup, an easy to prepare recipe that is sure to put a peanutty twist on Thanksgiving this year. Feel free to share other peanut-pumpkin recipes.


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