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

Lee Zalben

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.

Lee Zalben

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 used 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.


Meet Your Farmers: Wes Shannon, a Peanut Farmer in Tifton, Georgia
That's Nuts: As American as Peanut Butter and Apple Pie
That's Nuts: Is Kung Pao Chicken Authentic?