Each year, those of us that lurk in the kitchen overly much often feel that we must make SOMETHING with pumpkin. Last year, it was this Super Moist Buttermilk Pumpkin Bundt Cake. This year, I went the savory route. This thick, warm soup was so delicious that just looking at the photo some days after I swallowed the last spoonful is making me salivate.
Truth Time: I had never made anything with an actual pumpkin. Everything from my pumpkin past started with a can opener. Not this year. No sir. This year, I scooped and scraped seeds, wrestled with the muck and then let the pumpkin chunks mingle with loads of garlic in the oven. The union was complete with the help of an immersion blender and some vegetable stock for lubrication.
Buy yourself a pie pumpkin and skip the pumpkin pie. I say turn tradition on its head this year and START Thanksgiving with this pumpkin soup.
Roasted Pumpkin and Garlic Soup
One 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 lb pie pumpkin
4 medium cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium, finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the stem out of the pumpkin. Cut in half and remove the seeds and “muck.” Slice pumpkin into wedges (keep skin on, it is much easier to remove after roasting). Put pumpkin and unpeeled garlic gloves on a sheet pan or in baking dish. Drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil, tossing to coat.
Roast the pumpkin and garlic in the oven. After about 15-20 minutes, remove the garlic cloves. They should be soft inside but not burned on the outside. Keep the pumpkin in the oven until soft but not burned. Fork should insert into the pumpkin easily. Remove from oven.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a soup pan. Add onion, nutmeg and cumin, cooking for a few minutes. Add the vegetable stock and heat on medium. Remove pumpkin from its skin and cut in chunks. Add pumpkin to the stock, bring it to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the roasted garlic from its casing and add to soup. Use an immersion blender or regular blender in batches to puree the soup. Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg or a swirl of cream.