Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Soup in a Pumpkin

Pumpkin isn't just for pies anymore. I looked at a lot of pumpkin soup recipes and decided on this one. The bread crumbs gave this soup considerable substance and I was astonished at just how good the recipe is.

I did not use the cream and found the soup to be pleasing (and fewer calories) without it. It had a really great flavor and would be an impressive opening to any Thanksgiving meal.

I used a little bit more cheese than the recipe calls for. The really fun part was scooping out the pumpkin flesh into the soup after you cooked it. You knew that you were just pumping up the flavor.

This is definitely a great holiday side and would also make a hearty meal with a loaf of premium bread and a small salad.

Bon Appetit!

1 7-lb. Cinderella pumpkin, with a 2" stem

7 tbsp. butter


1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 1⁄2 cups fresh white bread crumbs, toasted

1⁄2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1⁄2 tsp. ground sage

Freshly ground black pepper

1⁄2 cup grated Swiss cheese

4 cups Chicken Stock

2 bay leaves

1⁄2 cup heavy cream, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut a lid about 4" in diameter out of top of pumpkin and set lid aside. Remove and discard seeds and strings. Rub inside of pumpkin and lid with 1 tbsp. softened butter, season with salt, and place on a baking pan.

2. Melt remaining 6 tbsp. butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in bread crumbs and cook for 2 minutes, then add nutmeg and sage and season generously with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, stir in cheese, then spoon mixture into pumpkin. Pour enough stock into pumpkin to come within 1⁄2" of the rim. Lay bay leaves on top, then fit lid onto pumpkin.

3. Bake until pumpkin begins to soften and brown on the outside and the stock bubbles on the inside, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Carefully remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter. With a long-handled spoon, scrape flesh from bottom and sides of pumpkin and, just before serving, stir in heavy cream if using.