Food & Entertaining - Garden to Table

Gourmet pumpkin recipes

Fall's favourite fruit shines in recipes that go beyond the basic pie

Roasted pumpkin soup with thyme


Makes 8 servings

With a good chicken or vegetable stock as its base, this is the soup to kick-start fall suppers. Roasting the pumpkin pieces in the oven along with fresh thyme maximizes and integrates the flavours of each ingredient. And it’s even better the next day.

Ingredients
5 lb. (2.2 kg) pumpkin (not the large, jack-o’-lantern type), peeled, cubed
2 onions, chopped
1 bunch fresh thyme
3 tbsp. (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 cups (1.5 L) chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine
1 tsp. (5 mL) ground cardamom
1 tsp. (5 mL) ground cumin
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). On a large baking sheet, toss pumpkin pieces and onions with thyme (reserve 3 or 4 sprigs for garnish) and olive oil. When vegetables are well coated, season with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes, occasionally tossing vegetables until golden brown on all sides. Meanwhile, pull leaves from reserved thyme branches and give them a quick chop; transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Remove vegetables from oven and transfer to a large soup pot or sauce­­pan. Add broth, wine, cardamom and cumin and simmer for 15 minutes or until pumpkin is quite soft. Using tongs, remove all thyme (pour soup through a sieve if necessary).

If you have a hand-held blender, purée soup in the pot. Otherwise, do it in batches in your blender or food processor. Once the soup is smooth, gently reheat.

When heated through, whisk in cream. Serve in warmed soup bowls and sprinkle a little of reserved thyme (or roasted pumpkin seeds) over each serving.

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