Roasted Pumpkin Soup


1 small pumpkin, preferably sugarpie or some similar variety
Chicken stock
1/2 yellow onion, diced
Bread crumbs
Nutmeg, freshly grated
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Cheese, like Gouda, Swiss, or Gruyere, grated
Butter, softened
2 bay leaves


Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cut the lid off the pumpkin and scoop out the insides. If you're so inclined, save the seeds to roast later (there's a link in the More Information section below for some great recipes).
Butter the inside of the pumpkin and sprinkle with salt and pepper on all sides and the bottom. Do the same for the pumpkin lid.
Note: This will be a good time to put your pumpkin into the container that you'll use to roast it. I roasted mine in a small dutch oven. Made it very easy to move it in and out of the oven.
In a skillet, melt butter and saute the onions until they are softened (almost golden). Add salt to help sweat the onions.
Add the thyme to the skillet, then the bread crumbs.
Toss the bread crumbs so they are well coated in butter and onions, and toast in the skillet. Add salt and pepper and nutmeg to taste.
Spoon the onion mixture into the pumpkin. Add the grated cheese and cover the ingredients with chicken stock.
On the top of the now-floating filling, press two bay leaves to cover the whole and place the pumpkin lid back on.
Slide the pumpkin into the oven and roast for an hour, or until the lid starts to brown and the whole pumpkin gets soft.
To serve, scoop out the pumpkin flesh and ladle it and the filling into bowls. Top with a little heavy cream.




I made one pretty substantial change, and I feel compelled to share. My sugarpie pumpkins were a couple of pounds apiece, but they were still tiny. Attempting to scoop out the pimpkin with all the liquid still inside proved impossible. The 'container' was just too small to be practical, so I poured out the broth (directly into the dutch oven I'd used to cook the thing) and scooped the soft flesh from the pumpkin. In doing this, the structure of the pumpkin collapsed - and there went the nice serving dish.

But this was good fortune, actually.

When I tasted the broth and cheese and chunky pumpkin, I wasn't that impressed. It was sort of bland. In my larger dutch oven I had room to work - and improve the soup. I added the cream directly to the pot (rather than pour it into the serving bowls) and added more salt and pepper. Then I brought my immersion blender to the party and pureed about half of the soup. Texture was much improved, plus it distributed the pumpkin so there weren't fleshy chunks in the soup. What I lost in the fun presentation, I made up in flavor.




Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 4:50pm


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