Pumpkin is such an odd vegetable. It can be dessert, it can be dinner, it can be coffee, or a decoration. Unlike a lot of vegetables, you really only see it one time a year, and then it goes away. Which is why I usually make a lot of pumpkin things this time of year. It is delicious and nutritious, after all.

Soup is one of the best uses for pumpkin, and it helps that pumpkin season is also soup season. But a lot of pumpkin soups are kind of the same — creamy, maybe with some pumpkin spice, but not much else to make them interesting. So, the first time I saw some pumpkins hanging out in the produce aisle, I vowed to make a unique version of the classic soup.

Oh, fyi, I made this with canned pumpkin instead of fresh. While fresh is generally best for most things, I’ve always found canned pumpkin to be far superior. It’s more consistent as far as taste and texture — I mean sometimes you get a good pumpkin, but you could just as easily get a lousy one — and opening a can and scooping is waaaay easier than roasting, cutting, and cleaning out a whole pumpkin. So, if you’re a pumpkin purist, by all means, roast and puree your own pumpkin here.

The heat from this soup comes from a combination of jalapeños and Los Muertos Barbecue seasoning. This is one of my favorite Ava Jane’s Kitchen blends by far. It’s hot, but not too hot, zesty, and peppery. It’s perfect for creamy dishes like this. After I pureed the soup, I added a handful of grated sharp cheddar because in my opinion, everything is better with cheese. This soup is no exception.

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