Hint: It's all in the garnish.
Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Avocado
Recipe: Spicy Pumpkin Soup with AvocadoAvocado lovers, rejoice. We've combined spicy autumn flavors with a touch of homemade avocado cream in this delicious recipe.
| Credit: Greg Dupree

Sometimes we pity the pumpkin. For all its potential, it's seen only as a means to eat pie. That's why we recently came up with a series of recipes that unlocks all the culinary levels you can achieve with this squash besides carving a Jack-O-Lantern. But if asked which recipe is our favorite, we would tell you it's this pumpkin soup.

But before you think we might be asking you to cut up a whole pumpkin lugged home from the grocery store, don't run away yet. We're talking about just a can of puree just like the kind you might use for your favorite Thanksgiving desserts. Our favorite part of this recipe? Not only is it super easy, it can be dressed up a zillion different ways, which makes it the perfect big batch recipe to make on Sunday and eat throughout the week. Or a great choice for friends-and-family get togethers where everyone can customize it to their liking via a toppings bar.

Here are our five favorite ways to change the flavor profile.

Indian Pumpkin Soup: Sub in a couple teaspoons of ground ginger and a teaspoon of ground cardamom in place of cumin. Then top with a dollop of plain yogurt in place of avocado cream and sausage.

Middle Eastern Pumpkin Soup: Sub in a couple teaspoons of ground cinnamon, a teaspoon of ground turmeric, and a teaspoon of star anise in place of cumin. Top with pomegranate seeds and red chile slices in place of avocado cream and sausage.

Southwestern Pumpkin Soup: Add two teaspoons of chipotle pepper to cumin and garlic. Top with queso or cotija cheese and scallions in place of avocado cream and sausage.

French Pumpkin Soup: Sub in a teaspoon or two of fennel seeds in place of cumin. While hot in serving bowls, top with gruyere cheese in place of avocado cream and sausage.

BBQ Pumpkin Soup: Sub in two tablespoons of favorite BBQ rub or seasoning blend in place of garlic and cumin. Top with crumbled pork rinds or chicharróns and a drizzle of hot sauce.