Broccoli and Cheddar Soup and Pumpkin Soup 

Pumpkin Soup and Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Susan Ritts, creator of Putting on the Ritts, shares two delicious soup recipes for Twin Cities Live’s annual Thanksgiving Special.


I love cream-based soups and this is my go-to recipe. Fresh or frozen broccoli can be used. I try to use fresh, but frozen can be a better option during the winter season. Once again, this hearty soup can be a full, satisfying meal.


4 cups fresh broccoli florets or 3 packages frozen packages

1 large yellow or white onion, chopped

2-1/2 cups skim milk (or whole, 2%, whatever you desire)

1-1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese – or Velveeta cheese, cubed

9 tablespoons flour

6 cups vegetable broth

6-7 tablespoons butter

Toppings: Croûtons, Shredded Cheddar cheese, Sour cream


Put vegetable broth in a large pot and heat to a low boil. Add broccoli and maintain low boil for about 10 minutes. In a separate skillet, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove onions from pan and add to broccoli. Melt remaining butter over medium-low heat in the same pan, add the flour, stirring to form a roux (a thickening agent for soup). Cook until roux is light golden brown. Add flour and butter to the roux as needed. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly until well combined and thickens, 3-5 minutes. Add milk to broccoli and stir until smooth and combined. Add the cheese, stirring until melted. Salt and pepper to taste. To serve, top each bowl of soup with a handful of shredded Cheddar cheese, croûtons, and a dollop of sour cream.

Delicious and really filling….in a good way.


I absolutely love Fall – and the seasonal food is no exception. I love pumpkins and I love pumpkin soup! This is so very tasty – and can be served in individual small pumpkins or one large pumpkin shell. Cut an opening in the pumpkin (or pumpkins) and scoop out seeds, etc. until clean. Rinse in warm water, washing the inside and outside and set aside.


4 small pumpkins, hollowed or one large pumpkin, hollowed

2 cups fresh pumpkin “meat,” cut into 1 inch or so chunks

2 white onions, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

Finely grated rind – and juice of one orange

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh thyme, stalks removed and chopped

2/3 cup 2% milk

6 cups vegetable stock


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To cook hollowed out pumpkins, place the large pumpkin, or 4 small pumpkins, on a large cookie sheet or casserole dish lined with parchment paper. Place in preheated oven and cook for 1 hour. If pumpkin insides and skin can be pierced easily with a knife or fork, remove from oven and cool. If not, continue cooking and check every 15 minutes. Depending on the size/shape of the pumpkin(s), it can cook in an hour or take up to 2 hours to fully cook. Set cooked pumpkins aside.

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Add chopped onions and cook over medium heat until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and chopped pumpkin meat. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add vegetable stock, orange rind and juice to pan. Simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons thyme and continue simmering for another 10 minutes or until the pumpkin pieces are tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Puree mixture in a food processor or use a hand processor. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return soup to pot, add milk and heat until hot.

Pour the soup into the cooked pumpkins, top with remaining tablespoon thyme. Not only tasty, but beautiful as well. Serve with hot, crusty bread and enjoy. PUMPKIN SOUP SERVES 4. A 3 pound pumpkin should give you about 2 cups pumpkin meat. If desired, cooked, chopped bacon can be added to soup. Add along with the milk and heat up.