Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse & the Food Network
1 (2 pound) pumpkin, halved and seeds removed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 plus a pinch freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil (I didn’t have this so omitted)
15 to 20 small sage leaves, fried (I went more Indian route and added fresh cilantro and spiced pumpkin seeds, recipe coming for that)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Place the pumpkin cut side up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Invert to the cut side down, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place in the oven and roast until the skin is golden brown and the pumpkin is tender, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scoop the pumpkin flesh from its skin and set pumpkin aside until ready to use. Discard the skin.
3. Set a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and, when hot, add the cinnamon and allspice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the onions, carrots, celery, ginger and garlic to the pan and saute, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and reserved pumpkin to the pan and bring the stock to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook the soup for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
4. Remove the soup from the heat and process with an immersion blender (*or in batches in a blender) until smooth. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pinch of pepper. Add the cream to the soup and stir to combine.
5. To serve, place 1 cup of the soup in each of 6 warmed soup bowls. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of the pumpkin seed oil in the bowl and garnish with a 2 or 3 fried sage leaves.
*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.