Our garden produced quite a few pumpkins this year. I've already made pumpkin bread from a recipe I found online which was quite good. Made without any cinnamon or cloves, pumpkin without the pumpkin pie spice.
- 1 qt good homemade chicken stock
- 2 carrots
- 1 medium pumpkin
- 1 medium onion
- 1 small shallot
- 1 medium spicy red pepper (this was fresh form our garden as well)
- 2 fresh sage leaves
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 sprig of rosemary leaves
- 1/4 cup wine (red or white, whatever you have leftover in the fridge)
- splash of wine vinegar
- 1T olive oil
- 2 T butter
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup crab meat
- 1/2 T butter
- 1 small shallot, minced
Seed and peel the pumpkin, then cut it into regular chunks. In a heavy pot, heat olive oil and 1 T butter, add cut onion and shallot with a little salt and turn the heat down. Let those sauté until just before they turn color, then add carrot cut into chunks and the pepper cut into rough chunks. Sauté those until they all get a little color. These steps take time, but this is where a good bunch of the flavor comes from. Once those have just started to get a little color, add the fresh herbs, give a stir and then add the pumpkin chunks with a little more salt. Let that mixture cook for a few minutes. Add the wine and the vinegar then add the chicken stock, if you need to, add water just to cover and bring to a boil, then turn down and let simmer at least one hour. You could instead add a teaspoon of lemon juice at the end instead of the vinegar if you'd like, but some acid really gives this soup some zing.
Turn off the heat and let cool until you can handle it. Blend half at a time, putting the first half into a bowl after blending and then return to the soup pot after you've blended all of it very thoroughly. You could use a food mill if you wanted more texture, but I like it silky.
Just before serving, bring the soup back up to a boil. While waiting for that, create the garnish by melting butter in a small sauté pan, add the shallot and before the shallots turn clear, add the crab meat and toss just to heat well. When the soup is at temperature, turn off the heat and add the 1 T butter (cold butter is best for this) and stir it in. Notice how that butter at the end really makes it silky smooth.
Ladle into shallow bowls, add a clump of the crab garnish to each bowl and serve immediately. We had ours with a simple salad dressed in a garlic/thyme vinaigrette.
This was the best part of the meal, in my opinion. It was hearty and satisfying and really yummy. I was going to take a picture of it, but I'll make sure to do that next time. I'm definitely making this one again